St. Petersburg Police Department Officer Matthew Enhoffer, 34, was arrested on September 19 charged by federal criminal complaint with distribution and possession of child pornography. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, NBC Miami reports.
According to the complaint, an individual using thscreen name “thehoff727” distributed child pornography on Snapchat, a mobile web-based communications application. Further investigation revealed that the Internet Protocol address and subscriber information associated with that account was linked to the residence of Enhoffer in St. Petersburg, Florida.
On Sept. 11, Homeland Security special agents executed a search warrant at Enhoffer’s home and seized several electronic devices. An examination of Enhoffer’s cellphone revealed a collection of child-pornographic images and videos, including multiple images and videos involving children under the age of 12 in bondage, being raped, and forced to perform sex acts.
The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Middle District Florida Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Thelwell.
If convicted, Enhoffer faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, and up to 20 years, in federal prison.
This investigation was conducted under Homeland Security’s Operation Predator, an International initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, Homeland Security has arrested more than 19,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children.
In fiscal year 2018, more than 3,000 child predators were arrested by Homeland Security special agents under this initiative and more than 850 victims were identified or rescued.