U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
(813) 274-6000
November 16, 2015

Sanford Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Federal Prison for Producing and Receiving Child Pornography

ORLANDO, FL—United States District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza today sentenced Douglas Scheels (43, Sanford) to 50 years in federal prison for producing and receiving child pornography. He pleaded guilty on June 18, 2015.

According to court documents, from at least June 2014, and until his arrest on January 11, 2015, Scheels sought out, identified, communicated with, and sexually exploited several minor victims. He enticed two teenage girls from his neighborhood into producing child pornography, and sought out others. Using online communications, Scheels persuaded a minor to produce and send him explicit photos. He also communicated online with at least eight additional minors for the same purpose.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, and the Sanford Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Bishop Ravenel.

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 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.

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