Federal Jury Convicts Registered Sexual Predator Of Attempting To Entice A 14-Year-Old Child To Produce Sexual Abuse Videos Using A Smart Phone
Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced Tadd Andrew Melton (33, Jacksonville) to 15 years in federal prison, followed by a lifetime term of supervised release, for attempted production of child sex abuse materials. The court also ordered Melton to pay $189,000 in restitution to the victims of his offenses. Melton had pleaded guilty on April 26, 2022, and has been in custody since his arrest on July 23, 2021.
According to court documents, Melton, under the username “flshine69,” began chatting on a particular social media application with a woman he believed to be the mother of a nine-year-old girl. In reality, that individual was an undercover FBI agent. During their conversation, Melton distributed child sex abuse materials multiple times to the undercover agent. He also said that he wished he had children but did not have any yet. Melton requested to purchase used underwear from the “child.” He also requested the agent create child sex abuse materials for him of the “child,” describing in detail what he wanted depicted in the images. Melton also stated he “would love to be” actively abusing children, that he had “no limit” as to a child’s age, and that he had always been interested in young children.
Law enforcement identified Melton as the individual using “flshine69” based on his IP address, vehicle, and online account records. On July 23, 2021, the FBI executed a federal search warrant at Melton’s residence. During the execution of the warrant, Melton spoke with FBI agents and admitted to using the “flshine69” account.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington.
It is another case 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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.