When a guy from St. Paul sexually extorted hundreds of girls, his reach was extensive.
They’ve been discovered in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and ten countries, and the FBI’s Minneapolis field office’s Supervisory Special Agent Brenda Born stated on Wednesday that “we do suspect there are more victims.”
Yue Vang, 31, entered a guilty plea in federal court on June 2 and is still being held. On several social media and chat sites, he was accused of exploiting over 500 girls.
According to Born, who supervises the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, Vang constructed around 75 internet personas to portray himself as a youngster, and investigators discovered he was talking with over 1,000 accounts.
After identifying more than 500 victims, the FBI is attempting to ascertain if the persons linked to the remaining accounts were victims, acquaintances, or someone Vang had a brief chat with.
Officials declared on May 25 that they were looking for more Vang victims, and roughly 30 people have come forward since then, according to Born.
Vang’s exploitation began in 2015 and will go until about September 30, 2020. According to the FBI, he utilized photographs of actual females, masquerading as them, to entice other juveniles to make pornography and submit it to him.
Authorities were alerted to Vang when a victim contacted her local police station in Ohio, which, through its investigation, identified the perpetrator as possibly residing in Minnesota, according to Born. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received the information and sent it on to the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. In the year 2020, the FBI launched an inquiry.
Vang was the subject of a large-scale research. To put that in perspective, in April, a substitute teacher from Carver County was determined to have harmed 42 people, including at least 23 juveniles, and was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison.
Snapchat, Instagram, Kik, Yubo, Skype, Facebook, and Hoop were all utilized by Vang. “Yvanime,” “Mickey-Rawr,” “AnimeDork69,” “Animedorktw,” “Bobo195,” and “Fushu2” were some of his social media handles.
Vang was charged with felony information on May 24, which is a process in which a defendant agrees to forego a grand jury indictment in exchange for a guilty plea. Federal prosecutors agreed not to prosecute him with the other charges he pled to, as well as transportation, receipt, and distribution of child pornography, in exchange.
Vang’s lawyer, John Arechigo, stated, “We were aware of this for a while, and we’ve been working with the US Attorney’s Office on this for a couple of years.”
Vang admitted to two charges of child pornography creation, one count of child pornography possession, and one count of interstate contacts with the purpose to extort money.
Prosecutors are requesting a sentence of 72 years in jail. Arechigo said Wednesday that a pre-sentence inquiry is underway and that he hasn’t concluded his sentencing argument.
With youngsters out of school for the summer and maybe spending more time on electronic devices, Born said that now is a good time to talk to them about not shooting and sharing sexually explicit photos and videos.
When females submitted him sexually explicit photographs, Vang threatened to disclose their family, religious organization, or athletic association until they sent him more, according to Born.
In other situations, Born said she’s seeing increasing incidents of financial extortion, which occurs when someone persuades someone to give sexually graphic photographs, then demands money — $300 or $500 — and threatens to broadcast the images widely if they don’t pay.
“Awareness and education are the greatest ways to interrupt this sort of illegal conduct,” Born added.
According to Born, internet safety entails not only not disclosing your name, date of birth, and address, but also avoiding posting images that feature the name of a youth sports group or a school.