Man arrested on fraud, sex charges with both minors & adults, Chandler PD searching for more victims

Posted at 5:28 PM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 20:38:39-04

CHANDLER, AZ — The Chandler Police Department is searching for more potential victims after a man was arrested on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and sex trafficking among other charges.

Chandler police arrested Devon Raj Sharma, 26 on September 18 after serving a search warrant at his home.

Evidence linking him to multiple crimes was discovered on his electronic devices during the investigation.

Police say the investigation began on July 20 and they discovered Sharma acted as a woman on social media sites to target both adult and juvenile females. He would ask the females to send exploitative images and videos and offered money using a modeling agency deception.

Chandler PD said they received information on July 20 of Sharma luring and sexually exploiting a victim via two different social media accounts that were linked to his house.

This is not Sharma's first incident involving sexual misconduct. He was arrested in 2012 for child molestation, in 2013 for sexual exploitation of a minor, and in 2017 for sex extortion.

Sharma was also found to have taken the identity of female victims to communicate with other potential victims.

On several occasions, the user of the suspect account referred to himself at 25-year-old Devon, which was true at the time of the crimes.

In the chat data recovered as evidence, he lured minors for sexual exploitation, even after they identified themselves as minors.

A victim told officers that Sharma offered to pay for sexual favors and even offered $1,000 if the victim found another girl to participate as well.

Another victim told officers they were contacted by Devon Sharma via two separate accounts that acted together to convince the victim to send nude photos for money.

According to court documents, Sharma threatened to release the photos on a pornographic website if the victim did not agree to a 2-year contract where they would send him photos and videos that were sexual in nature in exchange for money.

All evidence provided by the three victims who stepped forward were corroborated by the chat data on Sharma's devices.

During the investigation, one of his phones was remotely wiped and officials say it is probable that Sharma was responsible for tampering with the evidence.

Sharma is currently being held at Maricopa County Jail on various felony charges, including sexual exploitation of a minor, fraud schemes, computer tampering, pandering, and sex trafficking.

The Chandler Police Department says they have information that more victims may exist in the Phoenix Metropolitan area.

Those who have any information, or have been targeted or victimized by him are urged to contact Sergeant Tom Lovejoy of the Chandler Police Department Computer Crimes Unit at (480) 782-4402.