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Press Release

Sweetwater Resident Sentenced to Serve Thirty Months in Prison for Extortion Via SnapChat

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On October 24, 2017, Brandon Douglas Shanahan, 23, of Sweetwater, Tennessee, was sentenced by the Honorable Pamela L. Reeves, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 30 months in federal prison for extortion using the computer application SnapChat. 


Shanahan pleaded guilty in November 2016 to one count of a federal indictment charging him with using interstate communications with the intent to extort contained in a federal indictment.  Shanahan used Snapchat to extort women into sending nude photographs of themselves to him.  After entering his guilty plea, it was discovered that Shanahan engaged in new conduct which could have been charged in a subsequent indictment.  However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed to allow Shanahan to plead guilty to an additional count in the indictment prior to his sentencing today.   Details of this are outlined in the plea agreement on file with the U.S. District Court and available to the public.


Agencies involved in this investigation include the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Knoxville Cyber Task Force, which includes the University of Tennessee Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Knoxville Police Department and Knox County Sheriff Office, assisted by the Sweetwater Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia F. Davidson represented the United States.                                                          




Sharry Dedman-Beard
Public Information Officer

Updated October 24, 2017