NEW YORK STATE POLICE
Major Vincent T. Lightcap
Troop D Commander
The New York State Police and the Manlius Police Department have concluded an investigation regarding the online sexual exploitation of children attending Pine Grove Middle School.
State Police Community Stabilization Unit Investigator JonAnthony Gallo, along with Manlius Police Officer Brianna Sparks, was assigned to investigate these reports.
On April 28, 2023, State Police, Manlius Police, and the FBI executed a search warrant in the Town of Van Buren relating to the reports of sexual exploitation. The investigation was initiated after multiple middle school-aged children (10-14) reported to the Manlius Police that an unknown person hacked into their Snapchat accounts and stole naked images of them. This individual then would extort the children for additional nude photos under the threat of sending the ones he had to their families and friends at the school. In one instance, the suspect identified the location of the middle school child and parked outside the child’s residence.
Investigators identified the suspect as 24-year-old Louis E. Fratangelo Jr., from the town of Van Buren.
State Police, along with the FBI, conducted a search warrant at Fratangelo’s residence. During the search, investigators discovered and seized (2) illegal AR-Style firearms, body armor, child pornography, and illegal fireworks.
The New York State Police Computer Crime Unit (CCU) conducted forensic previews on seized items and located thousands of images of child pornography (infant to pre-teen), child pornography which the state police alleged Fratangelo produced with a local child, and evidence of narcotics and firearms trafficking. Information was developed that the suspect may have utilized numerous Snapchat accounts not associated with him, including “alex_jones7858”.
On April 28, 2023, Fratangelo was arrested and charged with the following (9) felony counts,(3) misdemeanors,(1) violation):
- (2) counts Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd degree, class “C” felony
- (1) count Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance, class “C” felony
- (2) counts Criminal Possession of a Firearm, class E” felony
- (1) count Criminal Sexual Act 3rd degree, class “E” felony
- (1) count Rape 3rd degree, class “E” felony
- (2) counts Possession of a Sexual Performance by a Child, class “E” felony
- (2) counts Unlawful Purchase of Body Armor, class “A” misdemeanor
- (1) count Endangering the Welfare of a Child, class “A” misdemeanor
- (1) count Unlawfully Dealing with Fireworks and Dangerous Fireworks, a violation
Fratangelo was arraigned and transported to the Onondaga County Justice Center, where he posted a $250,000 bond. His mug shot photo is being released as the State Police believe he traveled to meet one middle school-age child and may have traveled to meet others in the Syracuse area.
State Police believe there may be more victims and encourage concerned parents to contact State Police Investigator Gallo at (315) 366-6000 or Manlius Police.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Manlius Police Department, Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, and the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center assisted in this investigation.