Inmate orchestrates sexting scam, impersonates detective, search warrant shows
Nicholas Beyo admits to extorting about $37,000 from men who sent penis pictures to cellphone
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A state prisoner is being investigated after he used a hidden cellphone to impersonate a Broward Sheriff's Office detective, extorting about $37,000 from men who sent pictures of their erect penises to him, according to a search warrant obtained by Local10.com this week.
The warrant, filed Aug. 26 by a special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, seeks to search the stored text messages and emails of the phone seized from former Martin Correctional Institution inmate Nicholas Beyo.
According to the warrant, Beyo orchestrated a scam in which victims would be solicited on the social networking website Mbuzzy.com to text pictures of their penises to a telephone number and then duped into believing that the pictures had been sent to a 14-year-old girl. The victims were then told they could take part in a special program avoiding any jail time if they made a $500 payment.
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The FDLE investigation began in April after being alerted by Pembroke Pines police Detective Mike Silver that someone was impersonating him.
According to the warrant, cellphone records indicated that the phone was being used at the prison. So Silver, pretending to be "Eric Hansby," made an undercover call to the number and spoke with Beyo, who claimed to be BSO "Detective Mike Silver." Beyo demanded that Hansby send $500 via Western Union or face arrest.
During the next several weeks, according to the warrant, Beyo communicated with the undercover detective in dozens of recorded texts and phone calls demanding payment and threatening him with arrest. Eventually, the FDLE agent and Silver made two payments as instructed by Beyo -- one to a woman in Miami and the other to a woman in Port St. Lucie.
According to prison records, both women had connections to three inmates at Martin Correctional Institution, one of whom was Beyo. Agents obtained recorded jail calls from the inmates and identified Beyo's voice as that of the man who had been communicating with Silver.
In June, investigators began communicating with Beyo by text, requesting information for the next payment. While Beyo was replying to the text, a corrections officer approached him and found a cellphone concealed in a hidden pocket sewn into the crotch area of his underwear.
According to the warrant, Beyo admitted to investigators that he had been impersonating Silver for the purpose of extorting money from the victims, claiming he made about $37,000 over the course of the past year. Beyo said he had an unidentified person create the Mbuzzy.com profile and interact with the victims, who were solicited to send the penis pictures. Beyo said the payments were wired to family or friends of inmates who sold him drugs at the prison.
Beyo, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence, was transferred to the Everglades Correctional Institution in August.
The warrant seeks to search the contents of the phone to find contact information of other witnesses, victims and co-conspirators.
A spokeswoman for the Broward County judge who handled the warrant request could not comment on whether the warrant request was granted, citing an ongoing investigation.
The FDLE also declined to comment.
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