BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A Lowell man, who is a level 3 registered sex offender, has pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography after coercing a juvenile to share sexually explicit photos using Snapchat.

Chayanne Nieves, aged 24, appeared in federal court in Boston Wednesday. He was arrested and charged in August 2021 and has remained in custody since his arrest.

According to court documents, from around Nov. 30, 2020, until Dec. 3, 2020, Nieves was in contact with an 11-year-old child in Vermont via Snapchat. During those communications, Nieves threatened and extorted the victim to send him nude photographs of themselves. During a search of Nieves’s residence in Lowell, Nieves confirmed that the Snapchat account used to communicate with the child was his.

“Mr. Nieves committed a heinous crime that victimized a young, innocent child. For that, he now faces federal prison,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “The dangers of the internet and social media anonymity remain prevalent, but my office is determined to protect the safety, innocence, and wellbeing of our children. In collaboration with our law enforcement partners, my office will stop at nothing to identify and hold predators like this defendant accountable – regardless of where they try to hide. That is a promise.”

“Nieves, already a registered sex offender, harassed and threatened a child online, using fear to extort her—a scenario becoming all too common,” said Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston. “Cases like this are every parent’s nightmare, but with this plea, Nieves is off the streets. HSI continues to work tirelessly to uncover internet predators like Nieves and, with the help of our partners, keep our kids safe online.”

“This case serves as a reminder that predators continue to target and exploit our children online. It’s important for parents to be active participants in their young children’s online lives, to speak with children about the potential dangers present on the internet, and to alert the authorities to any potential suspicious or criminal conduct. The Vermont State Police commends the members of law enforcement who investigated and prosecuted this case. We are grateful for these partnerships across state lines and among local, state, and federal agencies that help keep our communities and our corners of cyberspace that much safer for everyone, especially our children,” said Major Dan Trudeau, Commander of the Vermont State Police’s Criminal Division.

Nieves is scheduled to be sentenced on September 21, 2022.