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Press Release

Webster Man Sentenced To 27 Years For Distributing, Receiving, And Possessing Child Sexual Abuse Material

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

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Jesse James Bertetto (30, Webster) to 27 years in federal prison for distributing, receiving, and possessing child sexual abuse material. The court also ordered Bertetto to register as a sex offender and pay $74,500 in restitution. A federal jury found Bertetto guilty on April 12, 2023.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, in December 2020, Bertetto possessed child sexual abuse material on his cellphone, including images and videos of minors under the age of 12. The web history on his cellphone revealed that he had searched for child sexual abuse material and had visited websites known to law enforcement as frequently containing child sexual abuse material.

In January 2022, Bertetto possessed images and videos of children on another cellphone, including young children being sexually abused. He also actively traded videos of child sexual abuse material over a social media platform in January 2022.       

“Jesse Bertetto perpetuated the abhorrent behavior of sexually exploiting children online, contributing to the severe psychological damage these children will endure the rest of their life,” said HSI Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kristopher Pagitt. “Alongside partners like the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, our investigators are dedicated to removing this vile content from the dark web and holding these predators accountable for their actions.”

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – Tampa and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ilyssa Spergel.

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 February 26, 2024

Project Safe Childhood