MARQUETTE, Mich. – Three Nigerian men have been charged in the death of a 17-year-old boy from Michigan who died by suicide because he was blackmailed with a naked picture.
Samuel Ogoshi, 22, Samson Ogoshi, 20, and Ezekiel Ejehem Robert, 19, all of Lagos, Nigeria, are accused of buying hacked social media accounts and using them to pose as girls while interacting with boys.
The chats were sexual in nature and designed to lure the teenage boys into sending nude photos of themselves, officials said.
Once the men had started chatting with a boy, they would research his school, hometown, and family members. They would ask for sexually explicit images and then place those images into collages including non-sexual images taken from social media.
Those collages also included pictures of family members, friends, and classmates, officials said.
Eventually, the trio would use the collages as blackmail, threatening to send them to everyone on social media unless a fee was paid.
More than 100 people were targeted in this sextortion scheme, according to court records.
One of the accounts linked to the scheme had the username “dani.robertts.” That account was used to chat with 17-year-old Jordan DeMay, a student at Marquette Senior High School, according to authorities.
DeMay was talked into sending a naked picture of himself to the “dani.robertts” account, and on March 25, 2022, Samuel Ogoshi used the account to blackmail him, officials said.
Here’s how the conversation went:
- dani.robertts: I have screenshot all ur followers and tags can send this nudes to everyone and also send your nudes to your Family and friends Until it goes viral… All you’ve to do is to cooperate with me and I won’t expose you
- dani.robertts: Are you gonna cooperate with me
- dani.robertts: Just pay me rn (Just pay me right now)
- dani.robertts: And I won’t expose you
- DeMay: How much
- dani.robertts: $1000
After DeMay paid $300, Samuel Ogoshi made more threats, authorities said.
- dani.robertts: Goodbye
- dani.robertts: Enjoy your miserable life
- DeMay: I’m kms rn (I’m kill myself right now)
- DeMay Bc of you (because of you)
- dani.robertts: Good
- dani.robertts: Do that fast
- dani.robertts: Or I’ll make you do it
- dani.robertts: I swear to God
Messages sent to another teenager
Another teenager targeted by the scheme sent a naked picture of himself on May 25, 2022.
Officials said the following messages were exchanged with that boy:
- dani.robertts: Pay me rn (pay me right now)
- dani.robertts: $800
- dani.robertts: And I’ll end this
- dani.robertts: Deal or no deal
- Teenager: I don’t have that kind of money
- dani.robertts: Haha
- dani.robertts: I love this
- Teenager: I have $50 in venmo and a $100 cash
- dani.robertts: Dude
- dani.robertts: Now goodbye
- dani.robertts: Enjoy your miserable life
- Teenager: Why
- dani.robertts: I’ll make this go viral
On March 26, 2022, the following messages were sent:
- dani.robertts: I will make you regret you life
- dani.robertts: I will make u commit suicide
- dani.robertts: I promise you I swear
DeMay’s death sparks investigation
On March 25, 2022, DeMay was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
His death sparked an investigation by the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the FBI.
“Sextortion is a horrible crime that can leave especially younger victims feeling ashamed with nowhere to turn,” U.S. Attorney Mark Totten said. “My heart goes out to the family of Jordan DeMay.”
FBI agents from Michigan eventually traced the case to Nigeria, where they traveled to meet with Nigerian law enforcement officials.
Samuel Ogoshi, Samson Ogoshi, and Robert were arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, a law enforcement agency in Nigeria. All three face extradition to the United States to face prosecution. A specific date has not yet been determined.
The EFCC also arrested three additional men involved in the sextortion ring, but their names have not been revealed.
“Financial sextortion is a global crisis that impacts teens in our country and around the globe,” said James A. Tarasca, special agent in charge of the FBI in Michigan.
The FBI announced charges against all three men on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.
Samuel Ogoshi is charged with sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor resulting in death, conspiracy to sexually exploit minors, conspiracy to distribute child pornography, and conspiracy to commit stalking through the internet.
Samson Ogoshi is charged with conspiracy to sexually exploit minors, conspiracy to distribute child pornography, and conspiracy to commit stalking through the internet.
Robert is charged with conspiracy to sexually exploit minors, conspiracy to distribute child pornography, and conspiracy to commit stalking through the internet.
The sexual exploitation charge carries a penalty of 30 years to life in prison, the conspiracy to sexually exploit minors charge carries a penalty of 15-30 years in prison, the child pornography charge carries a penalty of 5-20 years in prison, and the stalking charge has a max penalty of 5 years in prison.
Here is a statement from the DeMay family:
My name is Jennifer Buta. I am Jordan DeMay’s mom. I am here today with Jordan’s dad John, his stepmom Jessica, and his step-dad Chuck. As a family we’ve waited for a moment to speak to everyone about Jordan. The last year without Jordan has seemed to pass by so quickly and yet it was the longest 13 months of our lives. Our hearts will forever be broken with a huge part of our lives missing.
Jordan was a son, a brother, a grandson, a friend, a student, a co-worker and a role model. He was the perfect mix of fun-loving and hard-working. He played hard, he loved hard, and he never held back. If you caught Jordan on a summer day, he’d likely be cruising in his car with the music up, taking in as much sun as he could at the beach and dancing without a care in the world.
Jordan’s smile could light up any room. Jordan’s charm and beautiful smile were contagious, drawing people to him wherever he went and leaving a lasting impression on everyone he met. He wanted to connect and be everyone’s friend and he did just that.
As parents, we cannot begin to imagine what Jordan went through that night and how scared he was because of this senseless act.
When we were informed that Jordan was potentially a victim of an internet scam called sextortion via Instagram, there was never a hesitation in our minds to share his story. We wanted everyone to be aware about sextortion and have those tough conversations with their families so if it did happen to them they knew to talk to someone.
Immediately, many families reached out to support us as their family went through this. We received countless messages from families afterwards that their child was being pursued online, and because we shared Jordan’s story, those children went to their parents for help.
We want to thank our family, our friends, our community and the many people near and far who have been there for us throughout this unimaginable time. We are humbled by the overwhelming support you have given to our families. We have so much love for all of you.
We are here today because of the outstanding efforts by multiple agencies that worked together on Jordan’s case over the last year.
We want to express our gratitude to the Marquette Country Sheriff’s Department, the Michigan State Police, Marquette Township Fire Department, Marquette City Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice. We also want to thank the Nigerian Government and their law enforcement for their cooperation.
We know that this was no small task and your commitment to Jordan’s case will make us forever grateful. Each and every person who touched this case needs to be commended for their dedication and resiliency that got us where we are today.
Our focus going forward is to bring more awareness to children, young adults and parents. Our family has forever been changed by this heinous crime and our objective is to prevent another individual from being victimized. Kids, teenagers, young adults and even adults can be a target of sextortion. We urge you to have discussions about this and have a plan for your children to reach out if it does happen to them.
Jordan will never be forgotten. He will forever be in our hearts and will drive us forward to share his story and help others.DeMay family