Jacksonville Man Pleads Guilty to Receiving Child Pornography Over the Internet
JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced today that Christopher Shawn Warnock (43, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography over the Internet. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years, up to 20 years, in federal prison, and a potential life term of supervised release. The plea also requires Warnock to forfeit his computer media and register as a sex offender. Warnock has been in federal custody since his arrest on December 17, 2014. A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.
According to court documents, on October 30, 2014, an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Newark, New Jersey began an online undercover investigation to identify individuals who were using the Internet to trade and distribute images and videos depicting child pornography. The agent made online contact with Warnock and was able to download at least 24 videos of child pornography from Warnock’s computer. Further investigation traced the computer to Warnock’s residence in Jacksonville.
On December 17, 2014, law enforcement executed a federal search warrant at Warnock’s residence and seized his computer. Warnock told the agents, among other things, that he searches for child pornography online using certain key terms, and that he enjoys watching others having sex with children. Forensic analyses of Warnock’s computer revealed that it contained at least 13 videos depicting the sexual abuse of very young children. Logs of online conversations, in which Warnock had indicated his desire to exchange videos of child pornography with other Internet users, were also recovered.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Newark and Jacksonville Offices, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
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 (CEOS), 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.