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Social Media Extortionist Gets 50 Years for Targeting Young Girls in Broward, Nationwide

A Miami federal judge has sentenced a Virginia man to 50 years behind bars, as well as a lifetime of probation, for using the internet to target and extort children through sexual exploitation around the country, including Broward County.

Joseph Isaiah Woodson, Jr., was convicted last September of producing child pornography and sending threats to at least seven young girls, including three who live in Davie, Plantation, and Coral Springs.

Between October 2017 and September 2018, the 30-year-old Woodson “persuaded, induced, enticed and coerced” several underage girls to engage in sexually explicit conduct using their cellphone cameras. He then recorded and shared those videos online, according to court documents.

Woodson apparently earned the youths’ trust and received access to their Snapchat account credentials by pretending to be one of their friends.

After getting their passwords, Woodson took over the victims’ Snapchat accounts and then demanded that they send him sexually explicit videos and images of themselves using the web-based texting application “KIK” if they wanted to regain control of their accounts.

Investigators add that Woodson conspired with others to systematically extort and exploit the children online.

“Joseph Isaiah Woodson, Jr. is a menace who preyed on the most vulnerable among us, children,” says George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “His sentence of 50 years in prison should serve as a warning to others involved in sextortion.”

Sextortion has become so widespread that the FBI recently launched an awareness campaign in schools.