Orange Park Man Sentenced to More Than Seven Years for Receiving Child Pornography Over the Internet
JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced Charles Eugene Mears (56, Orange Park) to seven years and six months in federal prison for receiving child pornography over the Internet. He was also ordered to serve a 10-year term of supervised release, register as a sex offender, and pay $3,000 in restitution to one of the victims.
According to court documents, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent in Jacksonville began an undercover investigation to identify individuals in northeast Florida that were trading images and videos of child pornography over the Internet. The agent identified a computer that was hosting images of child pornography using a file sharing program, and was able to download several of the files. Further investigation traced the host computer to Mears’s residence.
Agents subsequently executed a federal search warrant at Mears’s residence and seized several computers and other electronic media. Forensic analyses of Mears’s laptop revealed that it contained at least 211 videos depicting child pornography, including at least one video depicting the sexual abuse of a toddler.
This case was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
It is another case 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.