PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – A Surprise man has pleaded guilty to producing child sexual abuse material on social media between the summer of 2021 and March 2022.
Elliott Velez, 38, used social media platforms to speak with girls under the age of 18 about sexually graphic material, court documents say. He would reportedly tell these girls to engage in sexually explicit conduct and to take photos and videos to send to him. He would tell them specifically what to do and how to do it, with some actions including other underage individuals. Federal prosecutors say he would record the videos using a screen recording app on his phone to keep the photos and videos sent to him without the underage individuals knowing.
Velez was living in Newport News, Virginia, during this period of time and was an active-duty military servicemember. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22, 2023, and faces a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for each count.
Velez’s crimes were uncovered due to the national initiative started in 2006 called “Project Safe Childhood.” Created by the Department of Justice, the program works with Attorney’s offices, child exploitation and obscenity section, U.S. Marshals and local law enforcement officials to rescue children from predators. Tips regarding child exploitation can be provided to the task force at 1-800-CALL-FBI or tips.fbi.gov.
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