JACKSON CO., Ore. (WEHT) – ABC Affiliate KDRV reports that a man from Wayne and White County, Illinois was arrested for sexually victimizing 29 minors.

According to KDRV, a Jackson County Grand Jury indicted an Illinois man for forcefully coercing minor females to send sexually explicit images through Facebook and Facebook Messenger. The suspect is Michael Ferris, 43, of Mill Shoals, Illinois.

KDRV reports that the Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) began the investigation after receiving a report concerning one of Ferris’s alleged juvenile victims. KDRV says that SOCET found out that there were 29 victims throughout the United States and Canada, and the organization found out about this with the help of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

KDRV says that this case is being prosecuted by the Jackson County District Attorney’s office. KDRV says that Ferris is charged with three felony counts of using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct, and coercion. KDRV reports that the charges come from an incident reported on May 8, 2020, where the mother of one of Ferris’s alleged victims learned that her daughter was in contact with and coerced by Ferris.

KDRV says that Ferris is currently incarcerated in Illinois on 27 total felony counts. KDRV says that those charges include two counts of sexual exploitation of a child under 18, six counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child under 18, distribution of child pornography, nine counts of interstate extortion, and nine counts of cyberstalking.