MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FL – A 29-year-old Mexican man living in Boca Raton and Pompano Beach, Florida illegally was sentenced Wednesday in West Palm Beach federal court to 25 years in prison for posing on social media as a nine-year-old girl named “Sophia 12901,” encouraging young children to produce sexual exploitation material, trading child sexual exploitation material with others online, and being in the United States illegally.
According to federal authorities, beginning in 2020, Andres Rivera Reyes used a social media messenger application to find young girls for live video chats. During the chats, Reyes would try to convince the children to take pornographic images of themselves. A law enforcement investigation revealed that from January to May 2020, Reyes had engaged in these interactions with dozens of girls who were between eight and 12-years-old. The investigation also revealed that Reyes had over 5,000 images and videos of child sexual exploitation material in his cellular telephone and that he exchanged this material with others using social media applications. Reyes was previously removed from the United States in 2013 and was in the country illegally when he committed these crimes.
On August 19, 2021, Reyes pled guilty to one count of attempted production of child pornography, two counts of receipt of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography, one count of possession of child pornography, and one count of illegal reentry after removal.
In addition to his 25-year prison sentence, Reyes will be placed on supervised release for the remainder of his life as a registered sex offender. He was also ordered to pay in excess of $160,000 restitution to victims.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami announced the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg. FBI Miami’s West Palm Beach Office investigated this child exploitation case, with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami’s West Palm Beach Office and the Lincoln Police Department of Lincoln, Nebraska. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Schiller prosecuted the case.
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.