24-year-old Francisco Javier Soledad, of Eastvale, California, was arrested by both ICE and Homeland Security for allegedly threatening children over Snapchat into sending him explicit pictures of themselves. Soledad is accused of using one of the most common online predator tricks of posing as someone he’s not in order to try to gain the trust of his victims. He reportedly posed as both an adult woman and a 13-year-old boy.
When Soledad is said to have convinced a 13-year-old Illinois boy to send him an explicit video, the boy blocked him on Snapchat, but Soledad used other multiple Snapchat accounts to threaten the boy into sending him more. The boy’s parents contacted law enforcement, and when federal investigators searched Soledad’s devices they are said to have found over 5,000 child porn images. Most of the images were said to be made by Soledad’s victims, the majority of whom have not been identified. Soledad’s main Snapchat username was said to be ‘linkinparkrocks’, and investigators are looking for additional victims.
Officials are encouraging anyone with information about Soledad or his Snapchat handle, “linkinparkrocks,” to call HSI’s toll-free tip line at 1-866-234-7423.
This presents a good opportunity to talk to your kids about a number of things when it comes to using social media. The first is that no matter what stories they’ve heard to the contrary if an adult is approaching them in a sexual manner online, it’s not out of a romantic interest but a malicious one. The second thing is that once pictures or videos of them have been posted to social media, they are out there forever, no matter how much the app or network tells you that they disappear.