Pine City man pleads guilty to child pornography, exploitation of multiple minors

A Pine City man pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to charges related to child pornography and enticing minors to engage in illegal sexual activity.

According to court documents, 26-year-old Caleb Vincent McLaughlin allegedly used multiple social media accounts to solicit at least 14 minor girls in Minnesota to send him sexually explicit images and videos. 

McLaughlin would use a variety of aliases and Snapchat usernames in the scheme. He would claim to be a 17-year-old when trying to coerce the minor girls online and would on some occasions offer drugs, alcohol, cash, and gift cards in exchange for sexual acts, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. 

Prosecutors say McLaughlin began his scheme in January 2019 and believe there are a number of girls in Minnesota, North Dakota and elsewhere that have yet to be identified. 

McLaughlin was charged in July 2023 and on Wednesday he pleaded guilty to five counts related to child pornography at the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 13, 2024. 

Law enforcement says they are still working to identify and confirm the identities of the victims involved. They ask if you believe you or your minor dependent have been victimized by McLaughlin, to contact the FBI Tip Line at 1-800-CALL-FBI.