Ocala, Florida – Dustin Shane Sandiford (31, Citrus Springs) has pleaded guilty to using a minor to produce child sex abuse images. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, and up to 30 years, in federal prison. He had been indicted on June 30, 2021. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 21, 2022.
According to the plea agreement, agents seized a cellphone from Sandiford on December 2, 2020, pursuant to a search warrant. The phone contained a cloud storage application tied to accounts that Sandiford used to hoard more than 17,000 images and videos depicting children being sexually abused. Further investigation revealed that Sandiford had enlisted another Citrus County resident to produce child sexual abuse images of an underaged relative and send them to Sandiford. This material was also found on one of Sandiford’s cloud storage accounts.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William S. Hamilton.
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.