James Dale Brown, 27, has been charged with possession of child pornography and attempted extortion of a juvenile girl who he harassed via Facebook for five months, according to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.
Brown is scheduled to be sentenced on May 11 and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 and reimbursement to the victim for both charges.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Brown was originally charged in an indictment by a federal grand jury on June 24, which was unsealed on Aug. 27. He was arrested in Fremont two days later.
Brown admitted that from December 2008 to April 2009, he repeatedly contacted an underage girl through her Facebook page using the alias "Bob Lewis," Haag said.
Before contacting the girl, Brown got his hands on a revealing photograph of her.
Haag said that he used the photograph as leverage for her to send him a video of herself engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
He said that he would delete all the pictures of her from the Internet after he received the footage, but would send the image to her juvenile friends if she didn't, according to Haag.
Brown carried out the threats on April 18, 2009, by sending the girl's friend two Internet links to the explicit photograph.
FBI agents executed a search warrant on Brown's residence on April 23, 2009.
Haag said that this was the first case of an attempted extortion of a minor for child pornography through a social networking site to be prosecuted in the Northern District of California.