Penn Pike engineer pleads guilty to extorting dirty photos of 14/15 year old girls
Robert 'Russell' Freed 43 earlier an engineer in the New Stanton district office of the Pennsylvania Turnpike pled guilty today in federal court in Pittsburgh to charges of soliciting sexually oriented photographs from underage girls. An FBI agent on the case testified that Freed manipulated several girls - age 14 and 15 - getting increasingly graphic pictures of them by threatening to distribute the first ones to family and friends. He used email, telephone text messaging and Facebook and sometimes posed in the electronic exchanges as a young friend.
Freed used similar tactics on several girls and toward the end was dealing with FBI agents posing as young girls, after one had told her mother who contacted police.
During the investigation Freed was followed to the Turnpike offices and identified there last May.
Immediately after his arrest he was dismissed by the Turnpike.
There was no evidence Freed ever sought to meet any of the girls he manipulated for their pictures, or wanted more than the dirty pictures.
Evidence against Freed was a six page affidavit of the lead FBI agent in the case.
He is due to be sentenced in June.