With the help of the U.S. Marshals Service, Forsyth County authorities have brought a Michigan man to Georgia to face justice for allegedly attempting to use nude photos to extort money from a local 17-year-old girl.
According to Cpl. Doug Rainwater, spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Eric Anthony Saldana, a 27-year-old resident of Lansing, Michigan, was arrested on Tuesday after he was located by the U.S. Marshals in Morgan County, Tennessee last week.
Rainwater said that Saldana is accused of using nude photos of an ex-girlfriend, given to him when she was 15, to blackmail her for money. He said that Saldana allegedly contacted the girl by text in December 2017, sending her the nude images and threatening to release or sell them online if she failed to pay him.
“We refer to that as sextortion,” Rainwater said.
After this exchange took place, Rainwater said the girl’s family immediately contacted local authorities asking for help.
Rainwater said that with the physical evidence provided by the victim, they were able to secure warrants for Saldana’s arrest — but until recently they could not find an established residence for him.
When local investigators did take custody of Saldana this week, Rainwater said that a forensic investigation of his mobile device did yield images, files and texts that support the charges against him.
Saldana has been charged with one felony count of sexual exploitation of a minor and is being held in the Forsyth County Jail under a bond of $11,130.
Rainwater said that Saldana is also currently under investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations for similar charges that involve a minor in Tennessee.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force assisted in this investigation.