A PREDATOR who confessed to trading a 13-year-old girl a vape for explicit Snapchat videos has received the maximum sentence for the crime.
Michael Ray Beam, 32, received his 30-year federal prison sentence on Thursday after pleading guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor.
The Texarkana, Arkansas, man faces lifelong supervision after his release from prison.
“The victim told authorities that Beam had left a ‘vape’ device in her home mailbox in exchange for her sending him images and videos of herself engaging in specific sexual acts,” the Department of Justice said.
“Using the Snapchat service, Beam had been able view the victim’s real-time physical location, at her Texarkana, Arkansas, residence.”
Beam was arrested in September 2020.
He was found with a cell phone that contained child sexual abuse material – including videos – in a folder called “My Collections,” according to Law and Crime.
“Within a digital file folder on the phone, entitled ‘My Collections,’ investigators located a number of sub-folders, some of which were designated with female first names. In one of those folders, investigators located nine ‘mp4.’ digital video files,” according to the plea agreement filed by the government, which was filed in March 2022.
“Each of the nine videos is a ‘screen-capture recording,’ depicting in real-time everything displayed on the Defendant’s phone’s screen during the period of each such recording.”
The plea agreement also stated that Beam contributed to his own plea.
“In one of the nine screen-capture videos, the Defendant can be seen to activate his phone’s screen-side digital camera, causing his face to be briefly displayed on the phone’s screen, and thus to be recorded as part of that video,” the filing continued.
The filing also stated that Beam knew that the girl was only 13 years old when he solicited her for the inappropriate Snapchat videos.
Additionally, the plea agreement revealed that, through Snapchat’s user location feature, Beam ws able to “view the minor female’s current physical location at the time of the above-described exchange, which was on a particular residential street in Miller County, Arkansas.”
Authorities used the information to find the residence and interview the girl’s mother, who confirmed that it was her daughter pictured in the materials found on Beam’s phone.
Beam remained in the custody of the Miller County Sheriff’s Office as of Friday, per Law and Crime.