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Nationwide sextortion cases linked to San Antonio

FBI searching for hundreds of unidentified victims

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SAN ANTONIO – The investigation into a sextortion scheme that victimized nearly 350 underage girls across the U.S. could involve unidentified victims in San Antonio.

 

The FBI defines extortion as "a criminal act that occurs when someone demands something of value, typically images of a sexual nature, sexual favors, or money" by threatening a victim.

Lucas Chansler, 31, from St. John's, Florida, operated his sextortion scheme from 2007 to 2010 victimizing underage girls in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

The FBI has identified just over 100 of Chansler's victims and are trying to locate roughly 250 more.

Two of the identified victims are from San Antonio.

"In some of the most extreme cases, we have seen children commit suicide," said FBI Special Agent Michelle Lee. "So without question, we want to reach these victims and help them heal by affording them the victim's services and counseling that they need."

According to the FBI, Chansler would befriend the girls online by pretending to be a young boy.

He would send nude images of a young boy to the girls and ask them to send nude images of themselves in return.

"Chansler would threaten the victims with exposing them by sending these embarrassing materials to their families, friends, or schoolmates unless they continued to send him more photographs and videos," said Lee.

In 2014, Chansler was sentenced to 105 years in federal prison for engaging in an extortion scheme to produce child pornography.

Investigators found 80,000 images and videos in his possession.

In several of the videos, young girls could be seen crying or pleading with Chansler.

The best way to protect your child, recommends Lee, is to keep tabs on who they talk to.

"You have to know who your children are communicating with. You must know the content of those conversations," Lee said. "And it has to be completely 100 percent access to all of their devices, social media platforms they're communicating on and their computers."

If you feel you might have been victimized by Chansler or have been the victim of sextortion, contact the San Antonio FBI office by phone at (210) 225-6741 or emailSanAntonio@ic.fbi.gov.

You can also make an online report of a threat here: https://www.fbi.gov/report-threats-and-crime.

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