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Officials: Man uses threats to get young girls to send him nude pictures online

By: Jesse Martinez
EL PASO, Texas A California man accused of using threats to get a 12-year-old El Paso girl to send him nude images of herself was indicted of multiple charges, officials said.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Justice said Brian Caputo, 25, of Arvin, Calif., was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor and receipt and distribution of child pornography.

Arvin is accused of using social media accounts, such as Facebook, Yahoo and Kik Messenger for eight years to acquire dozens of images of underage girls from across the country, officials said.

According to court documents, Caputo would pose as a young girl and communicate with other young females online. He then would threaten to reveal sexually explicit images of their friends unless those girls sent him pictures of themselves nude or engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

In June 2013, he was in contact with a 12-year-old El Paso girl, and threatened to reveal images of her 11-year-old friend, officials said.

The girl told her parents, who then contacted the El Paso Police Department.

Investigators traced the conversation to Caputo, and said he had victimized several young girls across the country.

Investigators said that in one instance, Caputo convinced a victim to upload more than 660 images of herself to Caputos Dropbox account, officials said.

A search warrant was executed at his home on Feb. 28, and investigators also found a cellphone containing hundreds of images of girls between the ages of 11-15 undressing, nude or engaging in sexually explicit conduct, officials said.

Caputo is accused of trading those images with others online.

At least eight girls have been identified and authorities are trying to confirm the identities of many other victims.

Caputo has used names such as Giavanna Derann, Catness Love, Melissa Harpson, Cristal Dafnie, and Britt Any. Anyone who believes they might have been victimized is encouraged to contact the FBIs Bakersfield office at 661-323-9665.

Caputo faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on the exploitation charge and 20 years on the distribution charge as well as a $250,000 fine on each count.

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