ORLANDO, Fla. – U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron has sentenced Brandon Planas (39, Orlando) to 17 years in federal prison for enticing an 11-year-old child to produce sexually explicit videos of himself and send them over the internet.
Planas was also ordered to serve a 10-year term of supervised, register as a sex offender, and forfeit the electronic devices that he had used to commit his offense.
Planas had pleaded guilty on March 2, 2021.
According to court documents, in August 2019, Planas began chatting online with an 11-year-old child via Instagram messenger. In September 2019, Planas sent the child a pornographic image over the internet that he claimed to be himself. After sending this image, Planas asked the child to reciprocate. On October 8, 2019, at Planas’s request, the child created several videos of his genitalia and sent at least one of these videos to Planas.
The child’s parents discovered these chats and contacted the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office which began a criminal investigation. Between October 2019 and June 2020, Planas made several attempts to reinitiate contact with the child by sending the child messages, video chat requests, and using a different Instagram username. When the child’s parents discovered Planas’s attempts to reinitiate communication, they contacted the FBI. An undercover FBI agent assumed the child’s online identity and continued online conversations with Planas, during which Planas asked for another pornographic image of the “child.”
On July 21, 2020, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Planas’s residence. During an interview, Planas admitted, among other things, that he had solicited pornographic images from the 11-year-old child. The agents conducted a forensic review of his computer devices and located other social media profiles that Planas had used to solicit pornographic images from other users, including the child.
This case was investigated by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Daniels.
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.
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