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SAN FRANCISCO — A city resident has been arrested and charged with producing child porn, in a case where federal authorities allege he used threats of self-harm to coerce girls into sending him lewd pictures of themselves.

Alex Chin, 37, of San Francisco faces federal charges in West Virginia but has been in federal custody since June 14 awaiting extradition there.

A federal magistrate recently set his bond at $50,000 but he remains in Santa Rita Jail until at least his next court date, tentatively set for July 28.

Chin is charged with receiving child pornography from two girls, who at the time were aged 16 and 12, though authorities allege the 16-year-old girl has a cognitive disability giving her “the mind of a 13-year-old.” He allegedly met the teen girl through the 12-year-old on Snapchat, and traveled to West Virginia to meet the 12-year-old girl after they’d been talking online.

The girls are referred to by the pseudonyms “Minor Female 1” and “Minor Female 2” to protect their identities.

According to federal prosecutors, Chin “repeatedly threatened to harm or kill himself, sending photos of himself with a knife to his wrist or in his mouth, in order to entice Minor Female 1 and Minor Female 2 to send him sexually explicit images and videos, suggesting that he would follow through on his threat if he did not receive what he wanted.”

Chin is a registered sex offender due to a prior child pornography conviction, and was arrested after he showed up to a San Francisco police station to check in, per the requirements of his registration.

The investigation started in 2020, when Chin attempted to cross the border into the United States in Texas, but was stopped by ICE agents after they discovered his sex offender status. They subsequently searched his phone and found a picture of Minor Victim 1, according to court records.

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