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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 30, 2017

Gulf Breeze Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Receipt of Child Pornography

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Thomas E. Matassa, 24, of Gulf Breeze, was sentenced today to 20 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release as a sex offender for receipt of child pornography. The sentence was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

 

In February 2016, a detective interviewed Matassa, who admitted to downloading child pornography online. A forensic examination of Matassa’s laptop revealed approximately 200 images of child pornography and more than 30,000 chat messages with underage males to exchange videos and images of child sexual acts. Matassa pled guilty on April 10, 2017.

 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg prosecuted the case.

 

U.S. Attorney Canova said: “Protecting our children from exploitation is a top priority of my office and the Department of Justice. I commend the hard work of our prosecutors and law enforcement professionals who protect our communities and bring child predators to justice.”

 

“The FBI is committed to protecting children, who are among the most vulnerable in our society,” said Charles P. Spencer, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “We appreciate the efforts of our many law enforcement partners in this case, and remain committed to working tirelessly with them to identify these predators, and find justice for their victims.”

 

“HSI special agents, with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, have ensured this predator will not continue to re-victimize children,” said Ivan J. Arvelo, acting special agent in charge of HSI Tampa.

 

“Matassa is a dangerous predator who was aggressively targeting young boys online in an attempt to establish relationships with them,” said FDLE Pensacola Special Agent in Charge Jack Massey. “I thank our FDLE agents and law enforcement partners for their dedication and hard work to take this suspect off the street.”

 

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
For more information, contact: Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer amy.alexander@usdoj.gov
Updated June 30, 2017