MIDDLESEX BOROUGH — A man who threatened to share pictures he received from a local girl if she didn't send him more is now behind bars thanks to a multi-state investigation.

Police in New Jersey and Illinois worked together on the investigation that led to the arrest of Joshua P. Breckel, 19, of Mascoutah Illinois. Breckel was identified after Middlesex police were notified back in April that the girl had been "coerced to send a suggestive photo of herself to an online acquaintance," Chief Matthew P. Geist said. The man then asked the girl for more pictures and videos, and also offered to pay her if she got her friends to send him images as well, Geist said.

After refusing to send anything else the man, later identified as Breckel, threatened to share the photo she had sent him with her family and friends "through various online means." Working with the police in Mascoutah as well as the FBI it was determined that Breckel had extorted several girls, "including one that appeared to be 9 or 10 years old." Geist said.

When police came to his home Breckel admitted to attempting to exploit the girl and also told police that he had child pornographic images on his computer. He pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis.

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