By Ashley Cox

ORLANDO, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza has sentenced Jeffery Stephen Heck, Jr. (28, Titusville) to 20 years in federal prison for distributing child sexual abuse material. Heck was also ordered to serve a 10-year term of supervised release, register as a sex offender, and forfeit his smartphone.

Heck had pleaded guilty on April 21, 2021.

According to court documents, a law enforcement officer acting in an undercover capacity on a popular social media application (app) identified Heck as a member of a group on this app, which group is dedicated to the sharing of child sexual abuse material. On January 22, 2020, Heck distributed and posted a video depicting the sexual abuse of a child to that same group on the app.

On July 13, 2020, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Heck’s residence in South Carolina, where he had since relocated. Law enforcement seized his cellphone which contained approximately 116 images and one video depicting children being sexually abused. Additionally, law enforcement discovered a text message thread on his phone in which Heck had solicited nude photos from, and sent a nude photo to, an individual that Heck believed to be 15 years old.