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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. Florida Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Distributing Videos of Young Children Being Sexually Abused

Florida Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Distributing Videos of Young Children Being Sexually Abused

Release Date: June 5, 2024

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Jacksonville Northeast Florida Inter-Agency Child Exploitation and Person Trafficking, or INTERCEPT, Task Force investigation has led to the sentencing of a Clay County man for distributing child sexual abuse materials using the internet.

Carl Stephen Smith Jr., 34, of Green Cove Springs, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and ordered to serve a 20-year term of supervised release, register as a sex offender, and pay $12,000 in restitution to victims by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan. Smith was arrested on Jan. 31, 2023, at his residence in Green Cove Springs and has been detained since that time.

“This sentencing reflects the severity of this predator’s reprehensible actions and the harm inflicted upon innocent victims by possessing and distributing child sexual abuse material,” said HSI Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nicholas Ingegno. “United in purpose, the Northeast Florida INTERCEPT Task Force law enforcement partners stand in the gap to intercept and erase this vile content from existence.”

According to court documents, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a CyberTipline report in July 2022 from a popular online social media app that three child sexual abuse videos had been uploaded by a user named “daddysir142.” The IP address used to upload these materials was traced to an internet service provider in Green Cove Springs.

On Jan. 31, 2023, agents from HSI Jacksonville and NEFL INTERCPT partners executed a federal search warrant at Smith’s residence. During an interview with law enforcement, Smith admitted that he communicated with purported minors on social media, that he used two different social media apps to search for child sexual abuse material, and that he masturbated while viewing such materials.

During the search, HSI agents seized a cellphone belonging to Smith. A forensic review of this device revealed that it contained at least 22 videos and 37 photos depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The cellphone contained online conversations between Smith and other users in which Smith distributed materials depicting the sexual abuse of young children.

On Dec. 30, 2022, Smith messaged another user, “Well, id love to send you cp at least.” On Jan. 6, 2023, Smith distributed a video to the same user that depicted a prepubescent child wearing an animal costume while being sexually abused by an adult male.

This case was investigated by HSI Jacksonville, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

This case was a part of the Northeast Florida INTERCEPT Task Force, to include 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. 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 of child exploitation and human trafficking investigations.

For more information about internet safety education, please visit Department of Homeland Security’s Know2Protect.

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. Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

Last Updated: 06/06/2024
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