By Ashley Cox

MACON, Ga. (CW44 News At 10)– A Macon resident has pleaded guilty to child sexual exploitation after investigators discovered multiple juvenile victims across the country ranging in age from 10-years-old to 16-years-old who he contacted on social media, coercing them to send him sexually explicit and pornographic images and videos.

Deon M. Moore, 37, of Macon, pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child before U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell. Moore is facing a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison to be followed by not less than five years of supervised release and a maximum fine of $250,000. In addition, Moore will have to pay restitution ordered by the Court to any victim listed in the indictment and to a list of 14 additional victims to be filed under seal with the court. Moore will also register as a sex offender for life upon his release from federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

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“Deon Moore aggressively sought young victims online, intent on manipulating and deceiving them to fulfill his sick desires,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “A dangerous child predator is no longer able to harm the children he was targeting on social media thanks to the investigators who unraveled his web of lies. Our office will pursue the full measure of justice against adults who seek to harm the most vulnerable people in our society.”

“Predators like Moore are another example for parents to keep a close eye on their children’s activity on-line and on their phones,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Thanks to one mother who called police, a vast web of child exploitation was uncovered and now Moore will be held accountable for his abhorrent behavior.”

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According to court documents, the investigation was begun by the Fairborn, Ohio, Police Department (FOPD) on May 21, 2017, after the agency was contacted by the mother of a 12-year-old female victim, who had been communicating with Moore on Facebook and by text messages.  Moore sent nude photos and requested to meet with the victim. Investigators discovered that Moore had changed his Facebook name to “Nathaniel Ellis,” and that he had numerous Facebook friends who appeared to be teenage females. The FBI and FOPD detectives determined that Moore used Facebook to find victims, using the false identities of Sharod King, Nathaniel Ellis, Jazmine Ellis and Sharde Carter. He sometimes represented himself to be a female and between the ages of teens to 30s, depending on the targeted victim. Moore was seeking young, black female girls, and Facebook transcripts indicate that he would ask them their ages. His victims ranged in age from 10 to 16, and he knew they were minors. Moore’s victims were from multiple states, and he would discuss sex in explicit terms with his victims and would request that they send him nude pictures of their breasts and genitalia. To coerce and induce victims to send sexually explicit pictures and videos of themselves, Moore would send them explicit pictures and videos.

Investigators discovered that a 10-year-old girl in the fourth grade began communicating with Moore on Facebook in May 2018. Moore represented himself to be a 14-year-old female living in Atlanta, and sent fictitious photos of himself, posing as female. He asked the 10-year-old victim to send pictures, which she did. Moore then asked the child victim for an explicit video, and he sent her a video to demonstrate what he was looking for her to send. The 10-year-old victim then sent him three explicit videos of herself.

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During the time and scope of this investigation, Moore began conversation threads with a total of 1,306 individuals on Facebook, engaging 80 people in sustained conversations, 30 of which were juveniles. Four of these juveniles sent child pornography to Moore, and others sent explicit photographs of themselves, such as pictures of their breasts. Almost all of these victim received explicit sexual material from Moore, which he sent to induce, coerce and “educate” them.