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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Palm Beach Gardens Army Recruiter Faces Federal Child Pornography and Enticement Charges

A Palm Beach Gardens Army Recruiter is facing federal child pornography and enticement charges.   

Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Robert F. Lasky, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and William D. Snyder, Sheriff, Martin County Sheriff’s Office, (MCSO), made the announcement.

Danilo Fernandez, II, 36, of Palm Beach Gardens, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of attempted production of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2251(a) and (e); one count of receipt of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United State Code, Section 2252(a)(2) and (b)(1); and one count of enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422(b).  If convicted Fernandez faces a statutory maximum term of life in prison.  Williams is currently being detained, without bond, pending further proceedings in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach.

            According to court records, Fernandez, while working as an Army Recruiter in the fall of 2017, met a 17-year-old Palm Beach County high school student.  Fernandez texted and then engaged in sexually explicit Snapchat messages with the minor.  Over a period of months, Fernandez encouraged the minor to take and send him lewd and lascivious images and videos. 

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

If you have information regarding this case, or you believe you or a family member may have been a victim, please contact FBI Miami at (754) 703-2000 and reference the PBCRecruiterVictims, or email:  PBCRecruiterVictims@FBI.GOV.

Mr. Greenberg commended the investigatory efforts of the FBI and MCSO, and thanked the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, and Palm Beach County School District Police Department for their commitment to investigating these offenses and protecting victims of child sexual abuse.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory Schiller.

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.

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.

Updated May 2, 2018