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Carrabelle man gets seven years for child pornography

A 59-year-old Carrabelle man, who once worked as a correctional officer at Franklin Correctional Institution, has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for receiving material constituting child pornography. 

A Monday announcement from Jason R. Coody, United States attorney for the Northern District of Florida, said that on March 23, Chief Judge Mark Walker sentenced Franklin Jefferson “Buddy” Mathes, Jr. to 84 months in federal prison, to be followed by 20 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $69,000 in restitution.

The sentence came as a result of a Nov. 21, 2022 plea agreement that was reached about six weeks following Mathes’ arrest.

Mathes will also be required to register as a sex offender and will be subject to all sex offender conditions. 

Between September 2018, and July 2022, Mathes received, and possessed material containing child pornography. The material found in Mathes’ possession involved minors under the age of 12.

Beginning in April 2014, Mathes worked as a correctional officer at FCI.

“The safety and well-being of our children is paramount,” said Coody in a press release. “Those who seek to view and maintain child pornography facilitate the abuse of children by those who produce and profit from this illegal content, robbing our children of their innocence and their very childhood. With our law enforcement partners, we will hold such offenders accountable.”

This conviction was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Meredith L. Steer.

“This sentencing demonstrates the commitment of the FBI to investigate cases of child pornography and work with our U.S. Attorney’s Office partners to hold them accountable,” said Sherri E. Onks, special agent in charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “We will stop at nothing to protect children from those who engage in this type of activity, and we have now ensured one less predator is victimizing the most innocent and vulnerable members of our community.”

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida, visit

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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