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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 21, 2016

Merritt Island Man Sentenced To 350 Years For Multiple Federal Child Pornography Offenses

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. today sentenced Joshua Adam Tatro (24, Merritt Island) to 350 years in federal prison for nine counts of producing child pornography, three counts of receiving child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography. The Court also ordered him to forfeit the electronic devices that he used during the commission of the offenses. 

Tatro was found guilty after a bench trial on July 6, 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 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, cell phones 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 cell phones. 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 predator will spend the rest of his life behind bars, where he can no longer harm children,” said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. “The dedicated work of HSI special agents and our Brevard County Sheriff’s Office partners have made our communities a safer place.”

This case was investigated by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It was 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

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated November 28, 2016