- Samuel Ogoshi, 22, and Samson Ogoshi, 20, of Lagos, Nigeria, were extradited to the US on Sunday
- The brothers are facing charges related to a sexual extortion ring the pair allegedly ran across the US
- Some of the charges pertain specifically to the 2022 suicide college senior Jordan DeMay, who was a victim of their extortion
The two Nigerian men arraigned on sexual extortion charges that led to the death of a young man in Michigan pleaded not guilty on Thursday.
Samuel Ogoshi, 22, and Samson Ogoshi, 20, of Lagos, Nigeria, were extradited to the US on August 13 and faced a US judge for the first time the next day.
On August 17, the defendants were formally advised of the charges against them and entered not guilty pleas.
The charges the men face stem from allegations that they sexually extorted a number of young men and teenage boys across the US.
US Attorney Mark Totten, one of the prosecutors of the case, said: ‘Today’s hearing is another step forward in the judicial process following the successful extradition of the Ogoshi brothers from Nigeria to the United States last Sunday.’
‘My office is fully prepared to present the facts of the case during a fair trial.’
The family of Jordan DeMay – the young man who fatally shot himself in 2022 after allegedly being extorted by the Ogoshis – were seen looking teary as they exited the US courthouse for the Western District of Michigan following the hearing Thursday.
The Ogoshi brothers were flown to the US Sunday after being charged in a four-count indictment with the sexual exploitation of minors and with causing the death of Jordan DeMay.
DeMay, a high school senior from Marquette, Michigan, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in March 2022 after three Nigerian men pretended to be a female online and coerced him into sending explicit photos of himself.
After the defendants tricked DeMay intro sending nude photos, they demanded $1,000 or threatened to share them with friends and family.
Just six hours later, on March 25, 2022, DeMay was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His last message was: ‘I’m killing myself right now. Because of you.’
Samuel, Samson and Ezekiel Ejehem Robert, 19, all of Lagos, Nigeria, were charged in relation to DeMay’s death.
For DeMay’s death, Samuel Ogoshi charged with Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Resulting in Death.
Both brothers were charged with Conspiracy to Sexually Exploit Minors by causing the minors to produce child pornographic images that the defendants then used to blackmail the minors.
They were also charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Child Pornography, and Conspiracy to Commit Stalking Through the Internet.
The tragedy prompted a major investigation involving authorities in Michigan and the FBI to extradite the defendants in an unprecedented move.
The trio gained access to a hacked Instagram account of a woman named Dani. The accused used it to make contact with DeMay.
DeMay allegedly told the Nigerian men that he was going to die by suicide due to the horror they were inflicting upon him.
The parents provided excerpts of text conversations between DeMay and the extortionists, according to NBC News.
‘I have screenshot (for) all your followers and tags. I 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,’ one scammer said.
‘Are you gonna cooperate with me … Just pay me right now … And I won’t expose you,’ he added.
They demanded $1,000, but DeMay said he only had $300 to send.
DeMay replied: ‘I’m killing myself right now right now. Because of you.’
The men reportedly responded with: ‘Good … enjoy your miserable life.’
DeMay then killed himself with a gun, according to federal attorney Mark Totten.
Samuel faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in prison if convicted, while Samson faces a minimum sentence of five years.
‘Sextortion is a horrible crime,’ Totten said.
‘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,’ he 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.’
Samuel and Samson were arrested in January by Authorities in Nigeria at the request of the US. On July 20, they were ordered to be turned over to American authorities to face the indictment charges.
Demay died just months before he was expected to graduate from Marquette Senior High School, where he played on multiple sports teams.
This tragic case is not an isolated incident.
Following DeMay’s death, the FBI warned parents and caregivers of increasing incidents of sextortion among young children and teenagers
The FBI has recently seen an increase in financial sextortion cases targeting minor victims, according to their website.
Over the past year, law enforcement agencies in the US have reported over 7,000 cases of online sextortion involving minors, according to an NBC report, resulting in at least 3,000 victims, including more than a dozen who have died by suicide.