PITTSBURGH – A Blair County, Pennsylvania, resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh Monday, on charges of interstate transmission of an extortion communication, production and attempted production and receipt and attempted receipt of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, and transfer of obscene material to a minor, following an investigation by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, and the South Fayette Township Police Department.
The 16-count indictment, returned July 8 and unsealed today, named Jacob Kolonis, 27, of Duncansville, Pennsylvania, as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment, in August of 2019, and on Nov. 22, 2019, Nov. 28, 2019, and Feb. 5 through 7, 2020, Kolonis knowingly transmitted threatening communications to seven minor females with the intent to extort them. On Nov. 22, 2019, Nov. 28, 2019, and Feb. 5 through 7, 2020, in addition to communicating threats with the intent to extort, Kolonis attempted to produce and produced live video depictions of the sexual exploitation of three of the minor females located in Ohio and in the Western District of Pennsylvania, attempted to receive and received material depicting their sexual exploitation, and transferred and attempted to transfer obscene material to them.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 15 years and not more than life in prison, a fine of $4,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Assistant United States Attorney Heidi M. Grogan is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
HSI works in partnership with NCMEC and other federal, state, and local agencies to help solve cases and rescue sexually exploited children. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to NCMEC via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
For Internet safety information for educators, parents, and children alike, please visit ice.gov/topics/iGuardians to learn about HSI's iGuardian program.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.