U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. Florida Man, Sex Offender Sentenced, Admits ‘Obsession’ to CSAM

Florida Man, Sex Offender Sentenced, Admits ‘Obsession’ to CSAM

Release Date: March 20, 2024

JACKSONVILLE, Florida — A Northeast Florida Inter-Agency Child Exploitation and Persons Trafficking Task Force (NEFL INTECEPT) investigation into a convicted sex offender led to the sentencing of a Florida man to 12 years and seven months in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for possession of child sex abuse material.

Steven Lee Carty, 55, of Live Oak, was previously convicted of possessing, receiving and distributing child sex abuse images and has been ordered to pay $19,000 in restitution to his victims. Carty entered a guilty plea Oct. 19, 2023.

According to court documents, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Jacksonville began investigating Carty in relation to a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that was provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The CyberTip indicated that child exploitation material had been uploaded to an account with an electronic service provider. Law enforcement reviewed the material and determined it contained child sexual abuse material. Account information was provided for the user, which was connected to Carty. Internet protocol history for the account that had uploaded the material was traced to Carty. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement obtained a search warrant for that account, and it was determined to contain the child sexual abuse material indicated in CyberTip and additional files containing the same type of material.

HSI obtained and reviewed additional CyberTips connected to Carty that indicated that accounts associated with him had uploaded child sexual abuse material.

During the investigation, law enforcement learned that Carty was listed as an offender on Florida’s Sexual Offenders and Predators registry because of federal convictions for receiving, distributing and possessing child sexual abuse material in 2005.

On Aug. 24, 2023, HSI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement executed a federal search warrant at Carty’s residence with assistance from the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office. During an interview with law enforcement, Carty admitted to viewing, obtaining and sharing child sexual abuse material. He also admitted to being obsessed with child sexual abuse material and possessing hundreds of files of it on his cellphone. A preliminary examination of Carty’s cellphone during the execution of the search warrant revealed at least one file containing child sexual abuse material.

“Computers and mobile devices provide an instant, all-access pass for predators to distribute lifelong records of the darkest moments of a child’s short life,” said HSI Tallahassee Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nicholas Ingegno. “The Northeast Florida INTERCEPT Task Force partnership is 1,000% committed to be a light in the dark world that chooses to victimize children rather than nurture them.”

This case was investigated by members of the NEFL INTERCEPT Task Force, including HSI Jacksonville, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Washington prosecuted the case, and Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan sentenced Carty.

Protecting the most vulnerable people in communities takes a collaborative and coordinated approach of working together at all three levels of government alongside private sector partners. The NEFL INTERCEPT is a unique public-private partnership where nonprofit organizations provide financial, technical and other resources to regional law enforcement partners dedicated to the fight against human trafficking and child exploitation. Support from Operation Light Shine and partner donors like the Tim Tebow Foundation allow law enforcement agencies to better serve Northeast Florida communities and the many victims of human trafficking and child exploitation. The collaborative approach of bringing together the experience and expertise of local, state and federal law enforcement professionals greatly enhances the ability to combat the many difficulties and challenges presented by the complexity of child exploitation and human trafficking investigations.

Members of the NEFL INTERCEPT Task Force consist of investigators with HSI Jacksonville, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, the Duval County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Attorney with the Middle District of Florida Roger Handberg and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

It 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 U.S. 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.

Last Updated: 04/22/2024
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content