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Little Rock man gets 25 years for child porn, extortion

by Dale Ellis | January 15, 2021 at 3:44 a.m.

A Little Rock man convicted on multiple counts of extortion and child pornography in federal court last year was escorted from U.S. District Judge James M. Moody Jr.'s courtroom Thursday, yelling and cursing at the judge after being sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.

Devion Marquette Cumbie, 25, was found guilty June 18, 2020, after a four-day jury trial on four counts of extortion, two counts of attempted production of child pornography, and one count of production of child pornography. An earlier trial the previous February ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked during deliberations.

While out on pretrial release on an unrelated federal firearms charge for which he is still facing prosecution, Cumbie masqueraded as an internet star named "Chink Capone" from mid-October until mid-December 2018 in order to strike up sexy conversations online with young women across the country, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said he used any suggestive photographs he could persuade them to send to extort more explicit photos under the threat of being exposed to all their Facebook friends.

Represented by attorney Robby Golden of Little Rock, Cumbie admitted during the trial that he created a Facebook page using the identity of Chink Capone, the internet persona of actor Alex Drummond of New Jersey whose comedic You-Tube posts are popular with teenagers and young adults. Cumbie also admitted to engaging in sexually charged conversations with, and even accepting scantily clad photos from, female followers who believed he was Capone when he messaged them directly and said he would like to meet them.

He denied using the sexy photos he was sent to extort nude photos and videos of his victims, telling jurors during the trial that a friend who was staying with him in late 2018 must have borrowed his cellphone and sent the illegal extortion messages. One of those messages resulted in a teenage girl sending a video of herself naked, leading to the child-pornography-production charge.

About a dozen family members and friends of Cumbie's were in court Thursday, several of them pleading with Moody to give Cumbie a light sentence, telling the judge that the Devion Cumbie they knew was a much better person than the one portrayed in the court records.

Cumbie's mother, Janice Jones, told Moody that Cumbie, as a child, was kind and generous to a fault. She said as he grew older, he got into situations that she said were not in character for him as he tried to fit in. She pleaded for leniency, telling Moody that Cumbie had learned from his mistakes.

"My son is not a monster," she said. "I'm asking you for mercy."

A presentencing report prepared by the federal probation office indicated a guideline sentence for Cumbie, given the nature of his crimes and his previous criminal history would be 2,016 months -- 168 years -- in prison, and federal prosecutors argued in favor of a lengthy sentence for Cumbie.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Bryant argued that as Cumbie entered into online conversations with women, when it became obvious that some were minors instead of backing off, she said, he would press on.

"There are five victims in this case, three of them were minors," Bryant said. "Talking about the first victim, 'LM' -- she said initially that she was 14 but I believe she was really 13 -- in that conversation when she said that she was 14, Mr. Cumbie didn't stop."

Noting that Golden had requested a sentence of 15 years for his client, Bryant said such a light sentence would not be suitable for the damage she said Cumbie had caused.

"We're not going to ask for a 2,000-month sentence," Bryant said. "We think anything below 40 years is not supported."

In addition to 25 years in prison, Moody sentenced Cumbie to 15 years supervised release once he is freed. Because there is no parole in the federal prison system, Cumbie must serve a minimum of 85% of his sentence -- 21 years, four months -- before he can be considered for release.

After explaining his appeal rights, Moody asked Cumbie if he understood the process.

"Yeah," Cumbie said, defiantly.

"What was that?" Moody asked.

"Yeah, I understand," Cumbie said, more loudly.

As federal marshals began to lead him from the courtroom, Cumbie tried to approach his family seated in the gallery but was stopped, at which time he began arguing with the marshals and for a moment appeared as though he would have to be physically restrained.

"Devion, don't make it worse for yourself," his mother called to him.

Cumbie then cursed Moody before being pulled from the courtroom by the marshals and could be heard for several long moments, shouting and cursing, loudly at first then growing fainter as he was led farther away from the courtroom to begin serving his sentence.

Information for this article was contributed by Linda Satter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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