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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Aventura Veterinarian Charged with Federal Child Exploitation and Animal Abuse Crimes

Miami, Florida – South Florida federal prosecutors have charged 40-year-old Prentiss K. Madden with receiving and possessing child pornography and with animal crushing, a federal crime that punishes acts of animal torture.  Madden is a licensed veterinarian in Aventura, Florida.

The criminal complaint affidavit unsealed today contains the following allegations against Madden:  Law enforcement agents received a  Cyber Tip that an IP Address registered to Madden’s home in Miami repeatedly accessed a cloud-based file-sharing service containing images of child pornography.  As part of the investigation, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant on Madden’s home.  They discovered a cellular telephone alleged to belong to Madden that contained several sexually explicit videos and images of minors, as well as chats that discussed the sexual abuse of children and animals.  According to the affidavit, some of the chats contained images that appeared to be of Madden engaged in sexual activity with dogs.  Agents also discovered over 1000 images of child pornography and other animal abuse in Madden’s cloud-based sharing account, says the court filing.  The geolocation information to one of the images depicting alleged bestiality links to the animal hospital in Aventura where Madden serves as Medical Director and Veterinarian (Caring Hands Animal Hospital), according to the complaint affidavit.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony Salisbury, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami Field Office, and Alfredo Ramirez, Director, Miami Dade Police Department, made the announcement.

The criminal complaint charges Madden with one count of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(2), one count of possession of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(4)(B), and one count of animal crushing, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 48(a)(1).  If convicted, Madden faces up to 37 years in prison.  Madden’s detention hearing is scheduled for March 19, 2021 in magistrate court in Miami.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

If you have information regarding this case, or you believe you or a family member may have been a victim, please contact the HSI tip line at 1-866-347-2423.

HSI Miami and Miami-Dade Police Department investigated this case, with assistance from  U.S Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Hialeah Police Department, and City of Miami Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Hudock is prosecuting this case.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov under case number 21-mj-02479.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Marlene Rodriguez Special Counsel to the U.S. Attorney Public Affairs Officer USAFLS.News@usdoj.gov
Updated March 17, 2021