By Ashley Cox

OCALA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)–Dustin Shane Sandiford (31, Citrus Springs) has pleaded guilty to using a minor to produce child sex abuse images. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, and up to 30 years, in federal prison. He had been indicted on June 30, 2021. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 21, 2022.

According to the plea agreement, agents seized a cellphone from Sandiford on December 2, 2020, pursuant to a search warrant.

READ MORE: Wet Weekend Ahead: Two Inches Of Rain Expected As Nicholas Hovers Over The Gulf Region

The phone contained a cloud storage application tied to accounts that Sandiford used to hoard more than 17,000 images and videos depicting children being sexually abused. Further investigation revealed that Sandiford had enlisted another Citrus County resident to produce child sexual abuse images of an underaged relative and send them to Sandiford.

READ MORE: Ceremony Held At Atlanta School Renamed For Herman J. Russell

This material was also found on one of Sandiford’s cloud storage accounts.

MORE NEWS: Parents And Teachers React To Governor DeSantis Getting Rid Of FSA

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William S. Hamilton.