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: Lavrov Says Russia Is Ready To Discuss Prisoner Swap With US After Griner Conviction

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: Deputies Arrest Man And Woman For Sexual Activity Involving Animals

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

MORE NEWS: DNA Links Two Men In Prison To Cold Case From 1983

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