The two Nigerian men charged with 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, from Lagos, Nigeria, were extradited to the United States on August 13 and faced a US judge the next day.
On August 17, the defendants were formally notified of the charges against them and pleaded not guilty.
The charges against the men stem from allegations that they sexually extorted a number of young men and teenagers across the United States.
Jennifer Buta, left, mother of Jordan DeMay leaves United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan with ex-husband John DeMay, center, and current wife Jessica L Demay, right, after the Grand Rapids, Michigan court hearing
Jordan DeMay shot and killed himself in March 2022 after he was allegedly extorted online by the Ogoshi brothers
Samuel Ogoshi (left), 22, and his younger brother Samson Ogoshi (right), 20, from Lagos, were airlifted to the United States on Sunday after being charged in a four-count indictment of sexual exploitation of minors and causing the death of DeMai
US Attorney Mark Totten, one of the prosecutors in the case, said: “Today’s hearing is another step in the legal process following the successful extradition of the Ogoshi brothers from Nigeria to the United States. United last Sunday.”
“My office is fully prepared to present the facts of the case in a fair trial.”
The family of Jordan DeMay – the young man who took his own life in 2022 after being allegedly extorted by the Ogoshis – were seen in tears as they left the US Courthouse for the Western District of Michigan after the hearing of Thursday.
The Ogoshi brothers were flown to the United States on Sunday after being charged in a four-count indictment with sexual exploitation of minors and causing the death of Jordan DeMay.
DeMay, a high school student from Marquette, Michigan, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in March 2022 after three Nigerian men posed as a woman online and coerced him into sending photos self-explanatory.
After the defendants tricked DeMay into 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 am killing myself right now. Because of you.’
Samuel, Samson and Ezekiel Ejehem Robert, 19, all of Lagos, Nigeria, have been charged in connection with DeMay’s death.
For DeMay’s death, Samuel Ogoshi was charged with sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor resulting in death.
The two brothers were charged with conspiracy to sexually exploit minors by forcing minors to produce child pornography images which the defendants then used to blackmail minors.
They were also charged with conspiracy to distribute child pornography and conspiracy to commit criminal harassment on the Internet.
The tragedy sparked a major investigation involving Michigan authorities and the FBI to extradite the defendants in an unprecedented move.
The trio gained access to the hacked Instagram account of a woman named Dani. The defendant used it to contact DeMay.
DeMay allegedly told the Nigerian men that he was going to die by suicide because of the horror they were inflicting on him.
John DeMay, father of Jordan DeMay, looks on outside Michigan’s Western District Court after the hearing on Thursday
Jordan DeMay’s family outside the courthouse after Thursday’s hearing
Jennifer Buta, mother of Jordan DeMay, arrives at the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan for the hearing in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Criminal defense attorney Julia Anne Kelly, right, for Samuel Ogoshi, 22, and his younger brother Samson Ogoshi, 20, of Lagos, who are charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of minors and of causing the death of Jordan DeMay
The parents provided excerpts of text conversations between DeMay and the extortionists, according to NBC News.
‘I have a screenshot (for) all your followers and tags. I can send these nudes to everyone and also send your nudes to your family and friends until it goes viral… All you have to do is cooperate with me and I won’t expose you”, said a scammer.
“Are you going to cooperate with me… 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. Because of you.’
The men reportedly replied, “Fine…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 all over the world. And to those who are victims: know that we are ready to help you,” he continued.
“I am extremely pleased with the speed with which the extradition efforts have moved forward and I am grateful to the FBI and our Nigerian law enforcement partners for their tireless work in ensuring justice in this international investigation into the sexual exploitation.”
“Financial sextortion is a global crisis affecting 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 being victimized by this tragic crime.”
Jordan DeMay, star basketball player and footballer, pictured with his mother Jennifer Buta
Samuel and Samson were arrested in January by Nigerian authorities at the request of the United States. On July 20, they were ordered to be handed over to US authorities to face indictment charges.
Demay died just months before he was supposed to graduate from Marquette High School, where he played on several sports teams.
This tragic case is not an isolated incident.
After DeMay’s death, the FBI warned parents and caregivers of increasing incidents of sextortion among young children and teens
The FBI has recently seen an increase in financial sextortion cases targeting underage victims, according to its website.
In the past year, law enforcement in the United States has reported more than 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 died by suicide.