Extortion alleged over nude photos, and other area crime news _lowres

Cole Edwards

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A Marrero teenager was arrested last month after officials say he used social media to request nude photos and videos from juveniles, the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Cole Altemus Edwards, 17, of Marrero, was arrested Jan. 13 and booked on two counts of extortion and one count of indecent behavior with juveniles, PPSO said in a news release Tuesday. Officials also believe there may be additional victims in this case.

During an investigation, officials learned that Edwards contacted a 16-year-old male juvenile through social media, PPSO said in the release. Edwards, first using the screen name “samb8909,” allegedly portrayed himself as a female. After a brief conversation, the two continued their communication on another social media site.

Edwards, switching to the screen name “barbie8909,” asked the 16-year-old to send him nude photos of himself, PPSO said. The juvenile complied with the request, and Edwards allegedly sent the juvenile nude photos of a female.

Edwards then asked the 16-year-old to send a sexual video of himself, telling the juvenile that if he refused, Edwards would send his nude photos to his friends, PPSO said. When the juvenile did not comply, Edwards allegedly again instructed him to make the video, allegedly threatening to send the nude photos to his mother’s friends if he did not comply.

The Sheriff’s Office was notified of the incident and traced the IP address to Edwards’ home address, and a search warrant was obtained, PPSO said.

Edwards confessed to portraying himself as a female on social media, saying that he created the accounts to obtain nude photos and videos for sexual gratification purposes, PPSO said. He also told officials that he knew the juvenile victim, but the victim did not know it was him, PPSO said.

Edwards also allegedly told investigators about another incident that occurred in mid-December, when he met a young male online and requested a sexual video. Edwards told investigators he had had several contacts with the other victim, PPSO said.

The second victim was later identified as a 17-year-old Plaquemines Parish resident, who confirmed that an individual, who he believed to be a female, used the same screen names to extort him, PPSO said.

Investigators also found a nude photograph of a third, unidentified teenage male on Edwards’ cellphone, PPSO said.

Edwards was booked on Jan. 13 with two counts of extortion and one count of indecent behavior with juveniles. He was released from custody on Jan. 15 after posting a $27,500 cash bond.

Investigators believe there are additional victims. Anyone who has information should contact Sgt. Aaron Verrette at 504-564-2525.