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A 23-year-old Cumming man was recently arrested for allegedly soliciting porn from "dozens" of teenage girls through Snapchat.

Edward “Eddie” Okenica was charged federally for allegedly producing, receiving and possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney BJay Pak said.

“The allegations in this case are heinous, but it also serves as a reminder that parents must be aware of their children’s social media activity," Pak said. "Predators continue to prey on our youth through social media more than any other method.”

According to Pak, federal agents determined that since at least November 2018, Okenica has been contacting girls via Snapchat, where he then asked for nude photographs or videos.

Over the last nine months, Okenica is accused of reaching out to dozens of girls across the country, many of whom he successfully persuaded to send him material. In some instances, agents said, Okenica offered to pay the teens.

Agents also found evidence that Okenica threatened to publicly expose at least three of the victims if they refused to send him the nude photos and videos.

One time, prosecutors said, Okenica threatened to send nude photos of a 12-year-old girl to all her Instagram friends if she didn't comply with his demands.

“Sextortion remains a huge threat to our youth. Unfortunately, once a child’s image is shared online, it can never be brought back,” said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Nick Annan. “HSI remains committed to both aggressively investigating those who try to prey on our children as well as working diligently to try and educate both parents and their children of the dangers that exist in this digital world.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office are assisting in the investigation.

Anyone with additional information about Okenica, or anyone who may have been a victim in this case, is asked to contact ICE's Homeland Security Investigations at 404-346-2831.

Crime Reporter

Isabel is a crime and health reporter for the Gwinnett Daily Post. She graduated from Emory University in 2016 with a B.A. in international studies. She is originally from the Boston area.