Thursday, October 13, 2022

Westland man is accused of child pornography

Federal investigators have filed a criminal complaint alleging a Westland man produced, received, and possessed child pornography.

Christopher Emond Curtis, 25, was named in the Sept. 29 complaint which claims he paid another Twitter user for nude photos of teenage boys and asked the user to trick other underage boys into sending similar sexually explicit or nude pictures. The complaint details an investigation which included the April 21, 2021 search of a home in Baltimore, Maryland occupied by a man who admitted to possessing and distributing sexually explicit photos of children over Twitter. The man told agents from the FBI that he negotiated photo prices and sent links for payments using CashApps.

Investigators executed a search warrant of the suspect's Twitter account in July, 2021 and discovered messages from other users regarding the sale of nude or explicit photos of boys. One of those accounts was traced back to Curtis, according to the court filings.

The messages also included conversations about “baiting” other specific young boys into sending more photos and suggested prices to purchase copies of those images. The boys specifically mentioned were 14 years old. The images of both boys meet the federal definition of child pornography, FBI agents said.

“Based on training and experience, internet users who bait others will often do so posing as a person the target may be interested in and entice them to produce nude or sexual images,” an FBI special agent wrote in the criminal complaint. “Some users will ask or pay others who are more experienced to act on their behalf to entice targets to produce images for them.”

When authorities requested the subscriber information for the suspect’s Twitter account, they learned it had been deactivated. But the CashApp for user “theoneandonly” was traced back to Curtis, and his home address in Westland was identified, FBI officials said. Agents said they went to Curtis' current home in Detroit to execute a search warrant on Sept. 28. They found a phone that belonged to Curtis and identified the CashApp payment made to Individual A, the criminal complaint says.

Investigators said Curtis has admitted to signing up for Twitter accounts, searching for naked boys, and having conversations with others to pay for or provide sexually explicit images of boys, court records show. He admitted to buying thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children, officials said. Curtis admitted he had done this up until March 2022 and subsequently deleted his Twitter account in July, according to the court filings.