A Texas man is facing charges of stealing nude photos and videos from over a thousand victims, including minors, across the United States. The FBI and a federal complaint have accused Andrew Venegas, aged 23, of sexual exploitation of children. It is alleged that he extorted women and girls into sending him explicit content by threatening to publicly share their nude images from 2022 onwards. Venegas, using a fake account named “Starkylol” with a woman’s photo as his profile picture, posed as someone else to manipulate and pressure women across the country.

During the investigation, federal authorities managed to get Venegas to send explicit images directly to them. The complaint states that he advertised his content online, including offerings that depicted minors under the age of 18. Some of the victims’ accounts were hacked by Venegas to gain unauthorized access to their nude images. He would then coerce the victims into sending more explicit images and share them on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, as well as sell them online, specifically advertising images of girls under 18.

Victims discovered their images or videos being posted online after receiving threats from individuals who wanted more explicit material. This practice, known as “sextortion,” involves threatening to distribute private and sensitive material unless the victims provide sexual images, favors, or money. The FBI identified some of the victims as minors in the explicit images that were shared.

The investigation also revealed that over 1000 different females had their images posted on websites, often with their true names. One explicit video on Venegas’ Telegram account involved a minor victim who was being extorted by Venegas to engage in sexual acts. The “Starkylol” Telegram account contained messages boasting about the suspect’s ease of obtaining nude images from victims.

Through undercover accounts and cryptocurrency transactions, law enforcement purchased a package from Venegas, which allegedly contained explicit material involving college, blackmail, and under 18 scenarios. While some images were obtained, the download was canceled. Further investigation traced a victim’s payment to Venegas’ cryptocurrency account. When a search warrant was executed at Venegas’ residence, messages sent to the “Starkylol” account from an undercover Telegram account were found on his phone. Venegas is expected to appear in court on Friday.

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