Orlando, FL – U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron has sentenced Franqui Soto (44, Orlando) to seven years in federal prison for distributing child sexual abuse material. Soto was also ordered to serve a 10-year term of supervised release, register as a sex offender, and forfeit his smartphone.
Soto had pleaded guilty on May 28, 2021.
According to court documents, a law enforcement officer acting in an undercover capacity on a popular social media application (app) identified Soto as a member of multiple groups on this app that are dedicated to the sharing of child sexual abuse material. On several dates in November 2020, Soto distributed and posted to those groups videos depicting the sexual abuse of a child. On January 7, 2021, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Soto’s residence in Orlando and seized his cellphone.
A forensic examination of his cellphone revealed approximately 230 images and six videos depicting children being sexually abused. Additionally, law enforcement discovered approximately 14 chats between Soto and other individuals wherein child sexual abuse material was exchanged.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer M. Harrington.
This is another case 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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 www.justice.gov/psc.
Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.