KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri Kansas City, Mo., announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to child sex trafficking and producing child pornography, which was discovered during an investigation into an extortion and blackmail scheme.
Corey M. McKinney, also known as “Chef FireFlame Corey,” 36, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays. McKinney’s plea came during the second day of his trial on the charges contained in an Aug. 30, 2011, federal indictment.
By pleading guilty today, McKinney admitted that he was sexually active on numerous occasions with the child victim since she was 14 years old, identified in court documents as “CV.” McKinney, who was the legal guardian of CV, admitted that he used computers and video equipment to record sexual activity between himself and CV. McKinney also admitted that he caused CV to engage in prostitution as part of an extortion and blackmail scheme.
On March 24, 2011, McKinney was hiding in the bedroom closet while CV was having sex with a man identified in court documents as “John Doe.” John Doe had just met CV, whom he believed to be 17 years old, on Facebook the day before. McKinney secretly recorded the sexual encounter on his cell phone and on a nearby computer.
John Doe returned to the apartment the next day to have sex again. McKinney burst into the room, asking John Doe if he knew how much trouble he could get into because his sister was only 16 years old. John Doe did not know that the girl was actually 16 years old, or that McKinney had recorded the earlier illicit encounter. He did not know that the 16-year-old girl was not actually McKinney’s sister, but rather was a former neighbor that McKinney himself – a 34-year-old man at the time, a few years older than John Doe – had been exploiting sexually.
After demanding $500 in exchange for not exposing John Doe to his family, friends, employer, or the authorities, McKinney made John Doe go with him to a nearby ATM to get some form of this payment. John Doe was only able to pay $100 at that time and McKinney demanded that he pay the balance in the next few days.
After this encounter, John Doe received a flurry of text messages from McKinney, who made threats and demanded money. McKinney claimed he sent the video file to a friend who worked at a local news agency. He also attempted to confront John Doe by arriving unannounced at his home. After numerous texts and an attempted in-face confrontation, John Doe approached the authorities and advised them of the extortion attempts. The text message threats from McKinney continued, and soon John Doe learned that McKinney was posting information about him and his wife on his Facebook page. Eventually, an exchange was arranged (through the direction of the Kansas City Police Department) to pay the remainder of the money in exchange for a USB drive with the video on it.
On April 7, 2011, McKinney was arrested at DeVry University in Kansas City, Mo. (where he was a student) after he exchanged a USB drive containing the video for money that he had been demanding from John Doe. Evidence uncovered during the investigation included various videos and images constituting child pornography with McKinney engaged in sexual activity with the same child victim. When investigators searched the minor’s cell phone, they found several sexually explicit photos of McKinney and the minor as well as sexually explicit photos of John Doe and the minor.
McKinney admitted that while he was incarcerated after his arrest he called the child victim dozens of times in repeated efforts to get her to recant her prior statements and testimony and persuade her to submit a statement on his behalf in the hopes of getting the charges against him dismissed.
Under federal statutes McKinney is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick D. Daly and Brian P. Casey. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the FBI in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Project.