NR 16-46 Merritt Island Man Convicted Of Multiple Federal Child Pornography Offenses

July 7, 2016 - 9:00 pm Author: Category:

Today the United States Attorney’s Office announced the U.S. District Judge, Roy B. Dalton, Jr. has found 24-year-old Joshua Adam Tatro, of Merritt Island, guilty of 9 counts of producing child pornography, 3 counts of receiving child pornography, and 1 count of possessing child pornography. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, up to 30 years, in federal prison for each of the production offenses. In addition, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, up to 20 years’ imprisonment, for each receipt offense, and up to 20 years in federal prison for the possession charge. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 3, 2016.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on nine separate occasions between October 2014 and March 2015, Tatro produced images and videos depicting him sexually abusing a three year-old child. He also used a messaging app on his phone to send and receive images depicting child pornography, and he uploaded images of child pornography onto an online account that he maintained. Law enforcement began investigating Tatro after they learned of his online activity from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

On March 17, 2015, agents from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Tatro’s residence, where he and the child victim were living. During the execution of the warrant, cellphones were recovered from Tatro’s pocket and his bedroom. A forensic examination of those phones led to the recovery of the explicit images and videos that Tatro had produced. During an interview with agents, Tatro admitted to producing the images and videos, and to sending them to others using the messenger app.

In total, Tatro possessed 76 videos and 692 photographs of child pornography on his cellphones. A search of his online drive account revealed more than 1,000 stored images of child pornography. Several of the images in Tatro’s possession depicted children under the age of 12 being sexually abused and exploited.

This case was investigated by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. Searle.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc, or call the United States Attorney’s Office at (813)274-6000.