(MARQUETTE, Mich.) — Two men accused of running an illegal sextortion ring have been extradited to the United States, authorities in Michigan announced on Sunday.
Samuel and Samson Ogoshi of Lagos, Nigeria arrived in the U.S. on Sunday and will appear Monday in federal court.
Sexual extortion or “sextortion,” is a form of blackmail in which scammers pretend to be someone online, coerce a victim to send nude or explicit photos of themselves and then attempt get the victim to pay money in order for the photos not to be released, according to the FBI.
Prosecutors alleged in court documents filed in May that Samuel and Samson preyed on young men, including 17-year-old Jordan DeMay, who died by suicide after the men threatened to post explicit photos he sent them on the internet.
Samuel Ogoshi, 22, Samson Ogoshi, 20 and Ezekiel Ejehem Robert, 19, all of Lagos, Nigeria, allegedly posed as a girl on Instagram and interacted with “hundreds” of victims, including DeMay, according to Mark Totten, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan.
DeMay, from Marquette, Michigan, died by suicide after three Nigerian men pretended to be a female online and coerced DeMay to send a nude photo of himself. When he did, the three men allegedly demanded $1,000 from him. DeMay told the men he was going to kill himself because of what he was being put through. The men allegedly responded with “good” and “enjoy your miserable life.” DeMay then killed himself with a firearm, according to Totten.
“Jordan’s smile could light up any room,” his mother, Jennifer Buda told reporters at a press conference with federal law enforcement officials in May. “Jordan’s charm and beautiful smile were contagious. drawing people to him wherever he went and leaving a lasting impression on everyone he met,” she said.
Over the past year, law enforcement agencies have received over 7,000 reports related to the online sextortion of minors, resulting in at least 3,000 victims, primarily boys, according to the FBI. More than a dozen sextortion victims were reported to have died by suicide.
“Sextortion is a horrible crime,” said Totten. “To those who commit these crimes: we will pursue you around the world. And to those who are victims: please know we stand ready to help you.”
At a press conference on Sunday, Totten credited the partnership of the FBI and Nigerian officials for bringing the men to justice.
“I am extremely pleased with how swiftly extradition efforts moved forward and am grateful to the FBI and our Nigerian law enforcement partners for their unyielding work to secure justice in this international sexual exploitation investigation,” he added.
At this time, court records have not listed a lawyer for Samuel and Samson Ogoshi.
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