The following press release was issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Middle District of Florida on Thursday, January 19, 2023.
Jacksonville, Florida – United States District Judge Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced Garrett Eric Weber (32, Green Cove Springs) to 20 years and 5 months in federal prison for attempting to entice a 9-year-old child to produce videos of the child being sexually abused. Weber was also ordered to serve a 12-year term of supervised release, register as a sex offender, and pay $45,500 in restitution to several child victims. Weber was arrested on a federal warrant by the Green Cove Springs Police Department during a traffic stop on July 2, 2021, and he has been detained since that time. Weber had pleaded guilty on July 27, 2022.
According to court documents, in 2020, Weber, using the name “BUBBLESXD_90,” uploaded a video depicting the sexual abuse of a child to a public chat room on a popular social media application (app). This upload was subsequently detected by law enforcement officers in Wisconsin. Further investigation by the FBI ultimately resulted in the identification of Weber. In March 2021, an undercover FBI agent, posing as the parent of a young child, engaged in online conversation with Weber using the same app. After some discussion and being told that the “child” was only 9 years old, Weber offered to serve as the “child’s” trainer by engaging in sexual activity with the “child.” Weber requested that the “parent” take a pornographic photo of the “child” for him, and provided specific instructions on how to accomplish this. Weber advised that he wanted the “parent” to film him as he sexually abused the “child,” and commented that the resulting video recording “would be the best [child pornography] vid ever.” Weber sent the “parent” several videos over the internet that depicted the sexual abuse of young children in order to demonstrate exactly how he planned to molest the “child” in person.
After his arrest on July 2, 2021, Weber admitted that he was in fact “BUBBLESXD_90,” that he had engaged in “horrible” online conversations with the “child’s” parent, and that he had distributed videos of very young children being sexually abused using the internet. Weber acknowledged that the “[e]vidence is staggeringly harsh against [him]” and that what he did was “criminal.”
This case was investigated by the Green Cove Springs Police Department, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Winnebago County (Wisconsin) Sheriff’s Office, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Milwaukee and Jacksonville. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 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.