Boone man faces federal charges, accused of trying to get nude photos of boys

Boone man faces federal charges, accused of trying to get nude photos of boys

WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. — A former middle school coach is facing new charges and is accused of tricking teenage boys into sending him inappropriate videos and pictures.​

Federal investigators are concerned there could be more victims.

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Frank Cromwell was indicted Monday and in it, he had 11 aliases he is accused of using.

Investigators said he used those names and a position he once held at Watauga High School to convince young boys to send him nude pictures and video of themselves.

Cromwell was a student at Appalachian State University and the 2017-18 school year he interned as an athletic trainer at Watauga High.

According to arrest warrants, he befriended a 17-year-old when he pretended to be a female on Snapchat.

"I'd say about 95% of kids at this school are probably active on Snapchat,” student Josh Profitt said.

Investigators said once Cromwell got the images, he blackmailed the minors, telling them he would send the images he had to police if they didn't share more.

Investigators said he repeatedly did that.

"People at the high school, anywhere, they should feel like they are safe," Profitt said.

A minor told police he suspected that Cromwell was posing as girls on Snapchat.

Cromwell was arrested in February and is facing 21 federal charges.

Watauga County School officials said Cromwell had no contact with students after classes ended in 2018.

The indictment means his case is now moving through federal court.

He faces a judge in Charlotte on those charges on Sept. 10.

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