This combination photo shows Cameron McEwen and an avatar associated with a Snapchat account that authorities say was used by McEwen, who was recently arrested on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of making extortionate interstate communications. (FBI)

This combination photo shows Cameron McEwen and an avatar associated with a Snapchat account that authorities say was used by McEwen, who was recently arrested on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of making extortionate interstate communications. (FBI)

FBI looks for more possible victims after New York man arrested in ‘sextortion’ investigation

Authorities say man used Snapchat to obtain sexually explicit photos, videos from teen in Alaska.

A convicted sex offender living in New York state was recently arrested after authorities say the 21-year-old man persuaded a 16-year-old girl in Ketchikan to “engage in sexually explicit activity, take photos and videos of herself doing so” and share them via Snapchat. Following the arrest, the FBI is searching for other possible victims.

Cameron McEwen, a previously convicted sex offender, was arrested April 25 in New York on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor — which carries a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison — and making extortionate interstate communications — which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison — according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. A news release from the office cited a federal complaint outlining a series of events involving two victims and social media accounts authorities say were operated by McEwen.

Aliases cited in a federal complaint written by an FBI investigator included X, Cam, dzys.wrld, itzbeendrippy, fendii and fendii.kashout.

“Cameron McEwen was on probation following a previous conviction for rape when he allegedly continued to commit sexually abusive and vile crimes, including with a minor victim,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a news release announcing McEwen’s arrest. “This case underlines the urgent need for law enforcement to continue its efforts to protect children from those who prey on them, and this Office is committed to safeguarding children from these predators.”

According to the complaint, in early April, McEwen while using the display name “Cam” connected on Snaphchat with an 18-year-old woman identified in the complaint as “Victim- 2,” who he offered to pay for sexually explicit images and videos via a bank account set up by a third person, identified in the complaint as “X,” who according to the complaint was also McEwen. It was not immediately clear if the 18-year-old is an Alaska resident, and a the FBI New York Press Office did not immediately return a call seeking additional information.

After receiving the explicit materials — and the young woman’s Social Security number and full name under the auspices of setting up a bank account — X then threatened to harm both Cam and the 18-year-old, leak the images and videos to the young woman’s family and apply for credit in her name if she did not do what he said, according to the complaint. Another account run McEwen also messaged the 18-year-old, purporting to be in contact with X and demanding she continue to send X explicit material. Later, X told the 18-year-old he would leave her alone if she found another person to send him explicit content.

The 18-year-old then asked the 16-year-old Ketchikan girl for help, according to the complaint, and the girl added X on Snapchat. X then threatened to hack the girl’s Snapchat account and cellphone if she did not send him sexually explicit photos and video, according to the complaint, and explicit photos and videos were sent to X.

By April 18, a special agent with the FBI spoke with an investigator with the Ketchikan Police Department, who had received and investigated a report of “concerning contact” on Snapchat involving the 16-year-old girl, according to the complaint. Investigators were able to review messages sent via Snapchat and Snapchat records, finding that three accounts connected to the alleged crimes were logging in from the same IP address, a numeric address given to a computer connected to the internet.

Further investigation linked the IP address to a physical address and McEwen, according to the complaint. Following a search of a residence in New York, authorities seized three cellphones, which McEwen said belong to him. An ongoing forensic review found that the cellphones had logged into accounts associated with the case, and McEwen subsequently told authorities he is the “sole user” of the accounts.

The FBI’s New York Office believes there may be additional victims in the case, according to a release from the office, which asked anyone with additional information to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or tips.fbi.gov and reference this case.

Contact Ben Hohenstatt at bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com or (907)308-4895. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

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