Albert Zimmerman Pleads Guilty to Production of Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 21, 2009|
TAMPA, FL—Today, Albert Andre Zimmerman (age 41), the former spokesman for the State of Florida Department of Children and Families, pleaded guilty to a charge of production of child pornography. Zimmerman, formerly of Tallahassee and Lakeland, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years' imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 30 years' imprisonment.
Zimmerman was arrested on a federal complaint on February 11, 2008, and was indicted on April 16, 2008.
According to Zimmerman's plea agreement, from October 2004 until December 2007, in Hillsborough and Orange Counties, Zimmerman became friendly with six minor males, one under the care of the Department of Children and Families. Zimmerman persuaded these minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct and then send him pictures of the conduct via email. At times, Zimmerman instructed the minors concerning the poses they should assume for the photos. Zimmerman told the minors that he would pay them money for the pictures, and he did indeed pay some of the minors. Zimmerman also told some of the minors that he was selling the pornographic photographs to another individual, who would in turn sell them overseas.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Jacksonville Division, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum's CyberCrime Unit, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Tampa Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Colleen Murphy-Davis is prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.