BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) — A Brandon man has been charged with hundreds of sex crimes involving children and animals after an almost year-long investigation, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

An HCSO release said Austin Drue Hoffman, 28, was first arrested on May 19, 2022, after an undercover detective posed as a minor online.

Deputies said Hoffman, who lied and said his age was 19 at the time, asked the decoy for nude images and tried to engage in sexual contact with someone he thought was a minor.

“Little did we know, this would be the beginning of a much darker, troubling discovery into the suspect’s disgusting, secret life,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said.

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies seized Hoffman’s cell phone while arresting the suspect, leading them to discover over 100 videos of child sexual abuse, computer-generated child pornography, and videos featuring bestiality.

Some of the files included infant victims, the release said.

Deputies said Hoffman allegedly shared over 100 of these videos with other people as well.

The sheriff’s office arrested the 28-year-old again on Dec. 1, 2022, on 100 counts of out of state transmission of child pornography by electronic device, 100 counts of possession of child pornography 10 or more images and content of images, four counts of possession of child pornography realistic computer-generated videos of child pornography, and two counts of film, distribute, or possess image or video of sexual activity with an animal.

However, this would not be the end of the investigation as deputies said they found more electronic devices with child pornography.

The sheriff’s office said while Hoffman was still in custody the second time, investigators learned Hoffman had sexual contact with minors, with three victims coming forward to give detectives more information on what Hoffman did to them.

As a result of this investigation, Hoffman was once again charged with

  • Possession of child pornography
  • Promotion of a sexual performance by a child
  • Traveling to meet minor after using comp services/devices to solicit certain illegal acts
  • Unlawful use of two-way communications device
  • Unlawful sexual activity with a minor
  • Transmission of harmful material to minor
  • Use of computer services or devices to solicit certain illegal acts

“Our hearts go out to the victims of the suspect who were used in his disturbing criminal acts,” Chronister said. “These kinds of investigations are not easy for our detectives, who are subjected to the worst things a person can see, and then must go home and live a normal life in our communities. They are the heroes who sacrifice in order to find and rescue the victims of these predators, and work to ensure they have a chance at justice within our legal system.”

Hoffman is being held in the Hillsborough County Jail with a bond of $3,080,500, as of this report.

The sheriff’s office said it is looking for more potential victims in the case. If you know anything, call HCSO at 813-247-8200.