GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Florida man was charged in the federal court in Grand Rapids Wednesday with “sextortion” of a Michigan minor, according to federal attorneys.
Brandon Le, 21, of Maitland, Florida, north of Orlando, was indicted on Nov. 16 and appeared Wednesday in federal court in Grand Rapids.
He was charged with coercing a minor to engage in sexual activity, producing child pornography and receiving child pornography.
Attorneys allege that on Aug. 10 and Aug. 11 of 2019, Le used Snapchat to contact a 13-year-old girl in Clinton County, north of Lansing. He started talking to her and then steered conversation to sexual content. He then screenshotted the messages, threatening to publicly post the screenshots online unless she sent him sexual photos, according to attorneys.
Based on FBI investigation, attorneys said they believe Le may have contacted people across the nation on Snapchat and other online platforms attempting to do the same types of things.
Attorneys said they have contacted some people who may have been affected but are also asking the public for help. They believe Le went by several different usernames: “Ty Addison,” “Addityyt,” “Tyaddinude,” “Tyaddibaby” and “Tygrazittenudef.”
If you think you may have been a victim, attorneys ask you reach out to Kathy Schuette at the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 616.808.2034 or by emailing Kathy.email@example.com.
“Unfortunately, sextortion cases are on the rise in Michigan, significantly,” said Jim Tarasca special agent in charge of the FBI in Michigan.
“The rapid rise of sextortion across Michigan, across the United States is, of course, a very deeply disturbing trend,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “Anyone can be a victim but this crime especially targets some of the most vulnerable members of our society — teenagers and children.”
The FBI encourages anyone who has been victimized online to tell someone. To report the harassment to authorities, reach out to the FBI at 1.800.CALL.FBI or report the crime online at tips.fbi.gov.