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Press Release

Tampa Man Pleads Guilty To Distributing And Possessing Child Sex Abuse Material

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Jeffrey Charles Thomas (41, Lithia) has pleaded guilty to distribution and possession of child sex abuse material. Thomas faces a mandatory minimum term of 5 years, up to 20 years, in federal prison. He will be required to forfeit the electronic devices used in the offense.

According to court documents, Thomas communicated with an undercover agent he met in an online chat group dedicated to people interested in father/daughter incest. Between August 9 and November 28, 2022, Thomas communicated online with the undercover agent. In his communications, Thomas described in graphic detail his desire to engage in various sexual acts with the undercover agent’s fictitious minor stepdaughter. Thomas then sent the undercover agent an approximately 14-minute video of a minor child being sexually abused.

On December 6, 2022, the FBI executed a search warrant at Thomas’s residence and found him in possession of approximately 14 images and 31 videos of child sex abuse material, including the video he had sent to the undercover agent.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Thelwell.

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

Updated May 1, 2023

Project Safe Childhood