Nigerian Brothers Plead Guilty In Sexual Extortion Ring Linked To Teen's Suicide

The death of a Michigan teenager sparked an investigation that led authorities to an international ring targeting teen boys and young men.

Two brothers from Nigeria pleaded guilty Wednesday to their roles in an international sex extortion scheme linked to the 2022 suicide of a 17-year-old boy in Michigan.

Samuel and Samson Ogoshi are facing a maximum of 30 years in prison for conspiring to sexually exploit teenage boys in the United States by posing as a young woman online, U.S. Attorney Mark Totten announced.

According to the announcement and the brothers’ plea agreement, one of their victims was Jordan DeMay, a high school student in Marquette Township, Michigan, who died by suicide in 2022 after he was manipulated into sending them sexually explicit images of himself.

DeMay’s death sparked a joint investigation by the FBI and local law enforcement that ultimately led authorities to the Ogoshi brothers, The Associated Press reported last year.

The brothers allegedly worked with a third man, Ezekiel Robert, who is fighting an extradition order in Nigeria, according to the statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan.

The plea agreement alleges the brothers worked with Robert from February 2021 through at least January 2023 to purchase hacked Instagram accounts to contact teenage boys and young men.

The scheme involved one person chatting with a victim while another researched personal information about the victim online, including their address, school and the identities of their friends and family, according to the plea agreement.

The victim would eventually be manipulated into producing and sharing sexually explicit images or videos of themselves, according to the plea agreement. Once a victim sent the sexually explicit content, the men would allegedly use the images to blackmail them into sending money.

Prosecutors said in the plea agreement that there were more than a hundred victims and that at least 11 of them were minors.

On March 25, 2022, the Ogoshi brothers spoke to DeMay, under the guise of being a young woman, to extort him, according to the plea agreement.

“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,” Samuel Ogoshi messaged DeMay, according to the trio’s indictment.

DeMay was only able to pay his blackmailers $300, which prompted them to make more threats, according to the plea agreement. DeMay told them he was going to kill himself, to which Robert allegedly replied, “Do that fast” and “Or I’ll make you do it.”

DeMay’s mother, Jennifer Buta, told local news station WDIV-TV last year that her son was staying at his father’s home on the night of his death and that she received a text message from her son in the middle of the night that stated, “Mother, I love you.”

The next morning, Buta reached out to her son, but he didn’t respond. DeMay’s father later discovered his son had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The brothers were extradited to the United States last August after federal agents traveled to Nigeria to investigate alongside local law enforcement, according to a statement released last year.

Buta addressed the brother’s conviction in a social media post, saying she is “extremely grateful for the efforts from all agencies” involved.

“Today won’t bring Jordan back. It won’t ease the every day pain and loss of him not being here, but it will help others,” she wrote. “Jordans legacy has changed the trajectory of this horrendous crime. I’m not sure what to call today but it’s a moment that we can all breathe and be thankful for.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call or text 988 or chat for mental health support. Additionally, you can find local mental health and crisis resources at Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

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