Orlando, Florida – A federal jury has found Xzavier Scholtens (20, Palm Bay) guilty of one count of transporting and one count of possessing child sex abuse material. Scholtens faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a lifetime term of supervised release for each offense. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 20, 2021.
Scholtens had been indicted on May 27, 2020.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, this case arose from an online undercover operation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations agents in McAllen, Texas. The operation targeted individuals who were using a particular online social media platform to trade or distribute child sex abuse images.
On November 19, 2019, Scholtens sent an online message to one of the undercover agents and offered to “trade.” After a brief discussion, Scholtens sent a hyperlink that led to a cloud storage folder containing 12 videos. These videos depicted the sexual abuse of children, ranging from infants to pubescent teenagers.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in McAllen, Texas and Rockledge, Florida. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily C. L. Chang.
This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.