Florida man who posed as girl, 12, to trade explicit videos gets 40-year sentence

MIAMI — A Florida man who pretended to be a 12-year-old girl online and coerced at least 50 children to send him explicit videos was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison on Wednesday.

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Andres Camilo Ruiz, 31, of Miramar, will also receive a lifetime of supervised release after being convicted of producing child pornography, enticement of a minor and possession and distribution of child pornography, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

Ruiz also will pay restitution to his victims, according to prosecutors.

From November 2018 through May 2019, Ruiz posed online as “June,” a 12-year-old girl, and used several social media platforms to convince children to send him videos depicting child pornography, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

In May 2019, Ruiz admitted to law enforcement officers that he used his phone to send and receive child pornography but refused to let officers search his phone, the newspaper reported, citing court records. Officials then obtained a warrant to search Ruiz’s phone and discovered that he traded videos with several minor girls on social media platforms including Kik, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Cheez, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The youngest child targeted by Ruiz was 9 years old, according to the federal prosecutors’ news release. Investigators found more than 1,100 images and videos on his cellphone, the release stated.