A teen’s death in a small Michigan town led the FBI and police to an online sexual extortion scheme

Oct 14, 2023, 12:03 PM

FILE - FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before a House Committee on the Judiciary oversight ...

FILE - FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before a House Committee on the Judiciary oversight hearing, July 12, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Wray spoke to one of the nation's largest police groups on Saturday, Oct. 14 about how the agency works with police around the country, including helping secure an indictment against two men accused in the death of a small-town Michigan teenager caught in an international online sexual extortion scheme. There's recently been a sharp in increase in such cases. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Last year, a teenager in a small Michigan town killed himself after an online chat turned to demands that he pay money to keep intimate photos secret. He was one of dozens of people targeted online by two men extradited from Nigeria to face charges, FBI director Christopher Wray said Saturday.

The arrests came after the FBI joined with police in Michigan to investigate the death of 17-year-old Jordan DeMay, one thousands of American teenagers targeted in a sharp rise in online “sextortion” cases in recent years.

“They will face charges in the U.S. for what they did to Jordan, but also unfortunately, a whole bunch of other young men and teenage boys,” Wray said in an interview with The Associated Press. “You’re talking about a crime that doesn’t respect borders. We make sure our partnerships don’t have any borders either.”

Wray highlighted the case in a speech to the International Association of Chiefs of Police about the ways the agency assists police in tackling violent crime, fentanyl and gangs. In a year where tensions between Congress and the FBI have run high at times, Wray focused on the agency’s relationships with U.S. police departments large and small, including some 6,000 task force officers around the country.

“The threats that we face collectively around the country are incredibly daunting,” he said. “By far and away, the most effective means of tackling those threats is teamwork.”

After DeMay’s death in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the FBI joined the investigation by the sheriff’s department in Marquette County and state police. DeMay had thought he was chatting with a girl on Instagram about his own age, and the conversation quickly turned to a request for explicit pictures, authorities said.

But once he shared images of himself, the talk changed to demands for money in exchange for the other side not sending the images to DeMay’s family and friends. When the teenager could not pay, the person on the other end pushed DeMay to kill himself, authorities said.

DeMay had never been talking with a girl, according to the FBI, which said that on the other end were two brothers from Nigeria using a hacked Instagram account. They researched him online, using details about his friends and family to target their threats. They also tried to contact more than 100 people the same way, authorities said.

The pair, Samuel Ogoshi and Samson Ogoshi of Lagos, Nigeria, have pleaded not guilty. Samuel Ogoshi’s lawyer declined to comment. Samson Ogoshi’s lawyer did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The FBI has seen a tenfold increase in “sextortion” cases since 2021. A least 3,000 children and teenagers have been targeted, and more than a dozen have killed themselves. Many schemes are believed to be originating with scammers based in African countries such as Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. Most victims are between age 14 and 17, but kids as young as 10 have been targeted.

DeMay’s mother, Jennifer Buta, said he was an easygoing high school athlete with a girlfriend and a big circle of friends. He was preparing to go a trip to Florida with his father the night before his death, she said. HIs family has since spoken out about his death, urging other parents to talk with their kids about “sextortion” schemes.

“It’s important parents know that this can happen. Their child is not an exception. If they are on social media, it can happen so quickly,” she said. “Parents need to let their kids know that they can come to them with anything, and their parents are there to help them and guide them through these situations.”

United States News

Associated Press

Sheriff says Alabama family’s pet ‘wolf-hybrid’ killed their 3-month-old boy

CHELSEA, Ala. (AP) — A 3-month-old boy was killed as his parents tried to rescue the baby from the family pet, a hybrid animal that was part dog, part wolf, authorities said. The boy had been bitten but was alive when first responders arrived shortly before 1 p.m. Thursday at the home in Chelsea. He […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Vermont day care provider convicted of causing infant’s death with doses of antihistamine

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — A child care provider accused of sedating an infant with an antihistamine was convicted of manslaughter, and faces up to 25 years in prison when she’s sentenced. A jury on Friday convicted of Stacey Vaillancourt of manslaughter and child cruelty in the 2019 death of Harper Rose Briar in Vaillancourt’s home […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

West Virginia prison inmate indicted on murder charge in missing daughter’s death

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia prison inmate whose infant daughter has been missing for more than two years has been indicted on murder and other charges, authorities said. A grand jury in Cabell County indicted Shannon Patrick Overstreet on charges of murder; death of a child by a parent by child abuse, and […]

3 hours ago

FILE - White House climate adviser Ali Zaidi attends a speech by President Joe Biden about supply c...

Associated Press

Biden rule aims to reduce methane emissions, targeting US oil and gas industry for global warming

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Saturday issued a final rule aimed at reducing methane emissions, targeting the U.S. oil and natural gas industry for its role in global warming as President Joe Biden seeks to advance his climate legacy. The Environmental Protection Agency said the new rule will sharply reduce methane and other […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Trump and DeSantis will hold dueling campaign events in Iowa with the caucuses just six weeks away

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Ron DeSantis plans on Saturday to complete his campaign promise to visit each of Iowa’s 99 counties, a timeworn tactic for presidential candidates hoping to make their mark in the leadoff state over months mingling with voters at the state’s diners, cookouts and Pizza Ranches. But the Florida governor’s moment, […]

12 hours ago

FILE - Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is shown before administering the oath of office t...

Associated Press

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor paved a path for women on the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — One fall day in 2010, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor slipped into the courtroom where she worked for nearly 25 years to take in an “amazing” sight. The first — and for 12 years, the only — woman on the high court saw three women in black robes among the […]

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.


Dierdre Woodruff

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.

A teen’s death in a small Michigan town led the FBI and police to an online sexual extortion scheme