PHOENIX, Ariz. — 20-year-old Arizona man and former MCSO posse member is in jail after police said he lured young females into sending him nude photos of themselves on the pretense it would lead to modeling jobs.
KPHO reports that Tempe Police detectives took Jarre Bjelic into custody Thursday afternoon as he left class at Paradise Valley Community College and booked him on 18 felony charges.
Investigators said they have identified nine victims, five of those are juveniles and four are adults. Police believe there are 77 others in Arizona, California, New York, Florida and Canada.
“This is a horrific investigation where we just keep finding more and more victims,” Tempe Police Lt. Mike Pooley said.
Officers said Bjelic met young females between 14 to 24 years old on social media websites, where he would persuade them to work at a modeling agency he claimed to own.
Bjelic told victims their naked photos were needed in order for him to determine whether they would make suitable models, police said.
Detectives said after the victims sent in the pictures, Bjelic would threaten to use those images against them if they didn’t send in even more photos.
“You can imagine how these girls feel,” Pooley said. “Very violated, very vulnerable and a lot of them are just living in fear because they don’t want to upset their parents. They don’t want to come out and tell their parents that they made a huge mistake, thinking their parents might overreact.”
A Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said Bjelic was a posse member from October 2013 to March 2015.
The investigation began in November. A 15-year-old girl, who wanted to be a model, reported Bjelic befriended her a year earlier on social media, Tempe Police Lt. Michael Pooley said. She said he asked her to send him naked photos of herself that might lead to modeling job, Pooley said.
After the girl sent him her nude photos, he threatened if she didn’t send more he would send it to her school and her friends, Pooley said.
Bjelic was charged with one count of fraudulent schemes, two counts of luring a minor for sexual exploitation, seven counts of theft by extortion, seven counts of computer tampering and one count of sexual conduct with a minor.