GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that Samuel Ogoshi, 22, and Samson Ogoshi, 20, of Lagos, Nigeria, have been extradited to the United States from Nigeria to face prosecution after being indicted in May 2023, for sexually extorting numerous young men and teenage boys in the Western District of Michigan and across the United States. Samuel Ogoshi was also charged with causing the death of 17-year-old Jordan DeMay, of Marquette, Michigan, who was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in March 2022.
“Sextortion is a horrible crime,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “To those who commit these crimes: we will pursue you around the world. And to those who are victims: please know we stand ready to help you.” U.S. Attorney Totten continued: “I am extremely pleased with how swiftly extradition efforts moved forward and am grateful to the FBI and our Nigerian law enforcement partners for their unyielding work to secure justice in this international sexual exploitation investigation.”
“Financial sextortion is a global crisis that impacts teens in our country and around the world,” said Devin J. Kowalski, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “As this case demonstrates, the FBI is committed to working closely with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to prevent young men and women from becoming victims of this tragic crime.”
It’s anticipated that the extradited defendants’ initial appearance will take place Monday afternoon at the federal courthouse in Grand Rapids at a time to be determined by the court. Nigerian authorities arrested Samuel and Samson Ogoshi in Nigeria in January 2023, at the request of the United States. Nigerian prosecutors managed the extradition proceedings, on behalf of the United States. On July 20, the Honorable Justice B.F.M. Nyako ordered both Ogoshis to be turned over to the United States to face the charges in the indictment. On August 3, B.E. Jedy Agba, the Solicitor-General of the Nigerian Federation, signed the final surrender order, authorizing the United States to bring the Ogoshis to West Michigan.
Overview of Federal Charges
In May 2023, Samuel Ogoshi and Samson Ogoshi were charged in a four-count indictment: Count 1 charges Samuel Ogoshi with Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Resulting in Death in association with the death of Jordan DeMay. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a statutory mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison. Count 2 charges both men with Conspiracy to Sexually Exploit Minors by causing the minors to produce child pornographic images that the defendants then used to blackmail the minors. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison. Count 3 charges both men with Conspiracy to Distribute Child Pornography for sending the child pornography images to the minors, as well as their families and friends. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison. Count 4 charges both men with Conspiracy to Commit Stalking Through the Internet for engaging in this sextortion scheme as it relates to both minors and young adults. The charge has a maximum penalty of five years in prison. All charges have provisions for fines, restitution, and supervised release after their release from prison.
The grand jury alleges that the defendants bought hacked social media accounts and used the accounts to pose as young women to lure teenage and young adult males into sexual chats. One of the accounts used was an Instagram account bearing the username “dani.robertts”, which communicated with Jordan DeMay shortly before his death. After initiating chat conversations with the victims, the defendants simultaneously used Google and other online applications to research information about the victims, including where the victims lived, where they went to school or worked, and who their family and friends were.
The grand jury alleges that the defendants then solicited their victims to produce and send sexually explicit images of themselves. Once the defendants received sexually explicit images, they created collages that included the sexually explicit image alongside other images of the victims from social media, including images of the victims’ school, family, and friends. The defendants then threatened to disclose the collages to others, including the family, friends, and classmates, of their victims via social media unless the victims paid money. The grand jury alleges the defendants engaged in this extortion and attempted extortion of more than 100 people.
The extradition of the third defendant, Ezekial Ejehem Robert, is still pending.
Coordination with Nigerian Law Enforcement
Earlier this year, agents from FBI Michigan travelled to Nigeria to conduct a cooperative investigation with Nigerian law enforcement officials. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs (OIA), worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prepare a request for provisional arrest, with a view toward extradition, of Samuel Ogoshi, Samson Ogoshi and Ezekiel Robert. OIA, together with the U.S. Department of State, transmitted the request to Nigeria. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a Nigerian law enforcement agency, arrested the Ogoshis and Robert. OIA and the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, coordinated with the Central Authority Unit, International Cooperation Department of the Nigerian Office of the Attorney General – Ministry of Justice during their extradition proceedings. Additionally, the FBI referred information to the EFCC regarding three additional Nigerian males involved in this same sextortion ring. These individuals were arrested by the EFCC on domestic Nigerian changes based on the information that was shared. The EFCC is one of Nigeria’s national investigative agencies and is responsible for the investigation of all financial crimes, including extortion, fraud, money laundering, and corruption. The cooperation and assistance of the EFCC was essential in apprehending the defendants.
U.S. Attorney Totten and Acting SAC Kowalski extends their appreciation and thanks to the EFCC, the Nigerian Attorney General’s Office – Ministry of Justice, and all other involved Nigerian authorities for their important partnership in this case. Specifically, U.S. Attorney Totten and SAC Kowalski thanked the following Nigerian partners and institutions for their assistance with this case: Acting Executive Chairman Abdulkarim Chukkol, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; Assistant Director Antoinette Oche-Obe, Central Authority Unit, International Cooperation Department, Office of the Attorney General – Ministry of Justice; Principal State Counsel Pius Akutah, Central Authority Unit, International Cooperation Department, Office of the Attorney General – Ministry of Justice; Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Justice, Nigeria’s EFCC; and the Central Authority Unit, International Cooperation Department of the Nigerian Office of the Attorney General – Ministry of Justice.
Law Enforcement Coordination
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following website: www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Mekaru and Davin Reust, and investigated by the FBI, the Marquette Sheriff’s Department, and the Michigan State Police Cybercrimes Unit in Marquette with the cooperation and assistance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Department of State provided critical assistance in seeking the extradition of the defendants.
The charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.