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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. Florida Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Producing, Uploading Child Sexual Abuse Images

Florida Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Producing, Uploading Child Sexual Abuse Images

Release Date: March 15, 2024

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Northeast Florida Inter-Agency Child Exploitation and Persons Trafficking Task Force (NEFL INTECEPT) investigation has led to a 25-year sentence in federal prison for production of child sexual abuse material.

In addition, Sam David Harris Jr., 38, of Middleburg, must serve a lifetime of supervised release. The court also ordered Harris to pay $65,500 in restitution to the victims of his offenses. Harris pleaded guilty on Sept. 21, 2023.

“This deviant destroyed the innocence of children by creating sexually abusive material to be shared on pedophile sites online,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tallahassee Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nicholas Ingegno. “This sentence is a testament to the commitment of our INTERCEPT Task Force investigators to recuse these children and put their predators behind bars.”

According to court documents, in February 2023, HSI Jacksonville began an investigation into a Cyber Tip received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about child sexual abuse material being uploaded to a particular site of an electronic services provider. This investigation led law enforcement to Harris and his residence.

On April 20, 2023, HSI Jacksonville special agents and task force officers executed a search warrant at Harris’ residence. During the search, a thumb drive was discovered concealed in the bottom portion of a small box located in the top drawer of a bedside nightstand. Also found in the top drawer was a prescription medicine container bearing Harris’s name. An onsite forensic preview of the thumb drive led to the discovery of numerous videos and images depicting child sexual abuse. Additional analysis of the thumb drive revealed more than 100 images that appeared to have been produced by Harris. Harris’s hand, arm and forearm were visible in several of the files. One of the females in the images was subsequently identified as a child to whom Harris had access.

This case was investigated by the Northeast Florida INTECEPT Task Force, which includes HSI Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Washington and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Karase.

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 will allow law enforcement agencies to better serve the 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 complexities child exploitation and human trafficking investigations.

Members of the NEFL INTERCEPT Task Force consists 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 for the Middle District of Florida Roger Handberg, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

This case was 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 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.

Last Updated: 04/22/2024
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