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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 4, 2022

Sex Offender Sentenced To Thirty-Five Years In Federal Prison For Child Exploitation Offenses

PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – Gregory Ralph Whitman, 58, of Panama City, Florida, was sentenced to thirty-five years in federal prison after pleading guilty on December 9, 2021, to attempted enticement of a minor, receipt of child pornography, and for committing a felony while a registered sex offender. The sentence was announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

“This sentence acknowledges the deviant acts of a child predator,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “Ensuring the safety of our communities is a top priority. With the assistance of our law enforcement partners, we remain vigilant to investigate and prosecute those who seek to harm our most vulnerable.”

In September 2020, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) undercover operation revealed that Gregory Whitman, who resided in Panama City, Florida, used social media to solicit pornographic photographs from a person he believed to be a 14-year-old boy. The FBI identified Whitman as a previously convicted sex offender in Florida. Through collaborative efforts, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) obtained and executed a search warrant for Whitman’s residence. The search revealed Whitman was in possession of multiple images and videos containing child pornography.   

Whitman's federal prison sentence will be followed by 10 years of supervised release. He will also be required to pay $15,000.00 in restitution. Whitman will continue to be required to register a sex offender and will be subject to all registration conditions. 

“The exploitation of children is a heinous crime that requires swift and intense law enforcement action,” said Sherri E. Onks, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “This case is a direct result of the commitment by the FBI and the Bay County Sheriff’s Office to protect innocent children and to identify, investigate and arrest online predators.”

“This case proves again that those that prey on children adapt and use the latest technology and law enforcement must keep up to stop them,” said Bay County Sheriff Ford. “We will continue to actively combat this terrible crime with our local and federal partners, but parents and guardians are the first line of defense against child predators. Sheriff Ford asks parents and guardians to monitor children’s activities on the internet closely, including what sites they visit and with whom they communicate.”

This conviction was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. First Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Spaven prosecuted the case.

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
Cybercrime
Contact: 
United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of Florida (850) 216-3845 USAFLN.Press.Office@usdoj.gov Follow us on Twitter @NDFLnews
Updated April 4, 2022