AKRON – A Ravenna man was sentenced on Tuesday to more than 12 years – or 151 months – in prison and 15 years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge John R. Adams after he pleaded guilty to cyberstalking, attempted sexual exploitation of a child, and interstate communication with intent to extort.
“It takes great courage for victims to come forward and report coercive behavior and predatory tactics to law enforcement,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler. “Because these victims came forward, this defendant was brought to justice, a minor was prevented from further harm, and our communities and children are now safer.”
“This defendant used deceptive tactics to extort and blackmail numerous victims throughout Northeast Ohio and sexually exploited a minor,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Gregory Nelsen. “The investigative work of the FBI underscores our duty to protect children from monstrous individuals’ determined to control others through manipulation and cyber stalking. We will continue to work closely with our federal, state, and local partners to find, identify, and investigate predatory behavior and bring justice to the victims of these horrendous crimes.”
According to court documents, from November 2019 through September 2021, Andrew John Drabic, 33, of Ravenna, Ohio, gained unauthorized access to the personal social media accounts of several victims in Northeast Ohio, stole images, and blackmailed victims. Court documents describe a deceptive scheme that Drabic used, known as “social engineering,” to gain unauthorized access to his victim's social media accounts and phone numbers.
After gaining access, court documents show that Drabic would then obtain non-public images, written communications, and other sensitive materials. As part of the scheme, Drabic used the images and files he obtained to intimidate victims by threatening to release the sensitive materials publicly. Court documents state that, in some instances, Drabic did follow through on his threats and released the materials.
On January 12, 2022, law enforcement authorities executed a search warrant at Drabic’s address in Ravenna following an investigation into the matter. During the execution of the warrant, numerous computer systems, cell phones, storage accessories, and other electronic devices were seized.
Authorities examined Drabic’s electronic devices and observed multiple sexually explicit messages between Drabic and a minor victim. In these messages, Drabic directed the minor to perform sexual acts and send sexually explicit photographs.
This case was investigated by the Cleveland FBI and the Cleveland, Cuyahoga Falls, Kent, Kent State University, Stow and Tallmadge Police Departments. Investigative assistance was provided by the Akron Police Department, Ravenna Police Department, Cedar Point Police Department, Portage County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Secret Service.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Joyce.
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