WESTLAND, Mich. – A 25-year-old Westland man is accused of paying a Twitter user for nude photos of teenage boys and asking the user to trick other specific boys into sending similar pictures.
Christopher Emond Curtis, 25, of Westland, is named in a criminal complaint filed Thursday (Sept. 29). He is accused of receiving, producing, and possessing child pornography.
Maryland man busted
On April 21, 2021, FBI officials searched a home in Baltimore, Maryland, and spoke with a man who admitted to possessing and distributing sexually explicit photos of children over Twitter.
The man said he would negotiate prices and send links through cloud storage apps in exchange for CashApp payments.
A federal search warrant of the man’s Twitter account in July 2021 revealed several messages he had exchanged with other users.
Pictures of lacrosse player, wrestler purchased
At 8:53 p.m. June 26, 2020, the man had chatted with a Twitter account that was later linked back to Curtis, court records show.
WARNING: Some of the messages in this conversation are disturbing. The Baltimore man is referred to as “Individual A” in the criminal complaint.
Curtis: What’s this file called? Do you sell or trade?
Individual A: He’s a lacrosse boy. I posted more of him.
Curtis: May I have the file via trading, or I’ll buy it?
Individual A: I have a file on this kid from Periscope. I baited him but most of his videos are from his live Periscopes.
Curtis: I’ll take him. Do you have any other young guys, like lax boy that show *** too?
Individual A: I have a file on a hot younger smooth wrestler boy. He’s not my bait tho. I’m not sure who baited him. I got his file from Telegram.
Curtis: mm yeah I’ll take him too. Also, if I find another guy would you be willing to try baiting him for me?
Individual A: OK can you do $45 for both?
Curtis: Yea and deal
Individual A: Ok CashApp me and I’ll send the links
Curtis sent that final message at 10:19 p.m. June 26, and CashApp records show that’s when Individual A received a payment from “theoneandonly,” officials said.
FBI officials in Baltimore said the lacrosse player referenced in the messages was a 14-year-old boy in Maryland. The wrestler was a 14-year-old boy in North Carolina, according to the criminal complaint.
The images of both boys meet the federal definition of child pornography, FBI agents said.
Request to lure other boys into sending nude photos
During that same conversation, Curtis asked Individual A to help him “bait” other boys into sending sexually explicit images, according to authorities.
“Based on training and experience, internet users who bait others will often do so posing as a person the target may be interested in and entice them to produce nude or sexual images,” an FBI special agent wrote in the criminal complaint. “Some users will ask or pay others who are more experienced to act on their behalf to entice targets to produce images for them.”
Here’s that portion of the conversation. WARNING: Some of the messages are disturbing.
Curtis: Would you be willing to bait someone for me? I’d pay for the file when you’re done.
Individual A: I can try. Who is it?
Curtis provided a link to the profile of someone he wanted Individual A to contact.
Individual A: OK one sec
Curtis: Am I allowed to request specific things? I understand it’s all up to chance if you’ll be able to get it or not.
Individual A: lol let’s just see if he will send first
Curtis: OK thank you again if you’re able to get him to. Let me know.
Individual A: I’ll let you know if I can get him. Some guys just aren’t into sending nudes to random girls.
Curtis: OK if not I have a different guy that you could try if you’re willing of course and if this one doesn’t work out.
Individual A: I got some half nude photos of him in the mirror but that’s it. He seems really paranoid and deleted all his Instagram photos. Has he been baited before?
Curtis: Not to my knowledge. But dang, that’s OK though. Would you like to try someone new? I have other guys.
Individual A: No thanks. Do you want the pics I got from him? One is in his underwear and you can see (explicit).
Curtis: Ohh aww no thank you though.
Individual A: OK
Curtis: Are you sure you won’t try a different guy, just one more try? I’ll pay for each successful bait. I really love your work with your previous baits.
The FBI special agent said Curtis offered to trade files in some of his messages. Curtis said he has “a lot of content” that he buys and trades, according to officials.
When authorities requested the subscriber information for that Twitter account, they learned it had been deactivated. But the CashApp for user “theoneandonly” was traced back to Curtis, and his home address in Westland was identified, FBI officials said.
Agents said they went to Curtis’ current home in Detroit to execute a search warrant on Sept. 28, 2022.
They found a phone that belonged to Curtis and identified the CashApp payment made to Individual A, the criminal complaint says.
Curtis admitted to signing up for Twitter accounts, searching for naked boys, and having conversations with others to pay for or provide sexually explicit images of boys, court records show.
He admitted to buying thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children, officials said. He would then delete his Twitter account.
Curtis said he would search for boys on Snapchat and other social media platforms while pretending to be a woman in her 20s to bait them into sending him nude images and videos, authorities said.
He would request images and videos of the boys touching themselves sexually and engaging in sexual acts with household objects, the criminal complaint says.
Curtis admitted he had done this up until March 2022. He deleted all of the materials he used to bait boys in June 2022, officials said.
The criminal complaint concludes Curtis produced, received, and possessed child pornography.