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Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the return of an indictment charging Reece Christopher Depew (22, Jacksonville) with distributing images depicting the sexual abuse of young children. Depew faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years, and up to 20 years, in federal prison.   

According to court documents, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a report from a company that hosts and administers an online social messaging application. The company reported that a user named “Android 18” had uploaded and distributed child sex abuse images to an online chat platform.  Further investigation revealed that the internet protocol address used to upload this material traced back to a residence where Depew lived. On January 17, 2020, FBI agents executed a search warrant at the home. Depew was subsequently arrested and has been detained pending trial.       

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

It 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.

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