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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. INTERCEPT Task Force: Former Police Officer Arrested for Online Enticement of a Minor

INTERCEPT Task Force: Former Police Officer Arrested for Online Enticement of a Minor

Release Date: April 24, 2024

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Northeast Florida Inter-Agency Child Exploitation and Persons Trafficking Task Force investigation has led to the arrest of a former police officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for online enticement of a minor child to engage in criminal sexual activity.

According to the criminal complaint, Josue Garriga III, 34, of Jacksonville, met the child victim at church around September 2023 and began pursuing a relationship with her via text messaging and WhatsApp. Messages recovered from the victim’s phone revealed Garriga sent communications expressing his sexual interest in her. Garriga went to the victim’s house late at night on several occasions and visited her at a coffee shop on March 6. During the March 6 encounter, while in his vehicle outside the coffee shop, Garriga grabbed the child’s hand, put it down his pants, and requested the child perform oral sex on him. When the child refused, Garriga asked the child to kiss his genitalia and would not let her leave until the child did so.

A complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty. If convicted, Garriga faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

This case was investigated by the Northeast Florida INTERCEPT Task Force, which includes Homeland Security Investigations (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 is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura Cofer Taylor and Kelly S. Milliron.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crimes and threats. In collaboration with its partners in the United States and abroad, HSI continues to prioritize investigations into individuals and organizations that illicitly introduce fentanyl, heroin and other dangerous opioids into the United States and gravely impact the health of our citizens and the safety of our communities.

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 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: 04/24/2024
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