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Middleburg man pleads guilty to producing child porn images

Posted 9/28/23

JACKSONVILLE – U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced Sam David Harris Jr., 38, of Middleburg, pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child sexual abuse images. Harris faces a minimum mandatory term of 15 years and as many as 60 years in federal prison. Harris has been detained since his arrest on April 20.

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Middleburg man pleads guilty to producing child porn images


Posted

JACKSONVILLE – U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced Sam David Harris Jr., 38, of Middleburg, pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child sexual abuse images. Harris faces a minimum mandatory term of 15 years and as many as 60 years in federal prison. Harris has been detained since his arrest on April 20.

According to the plea agreement, in February 2023, Homeland Security Investigations began an investigation into a cyber tip received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about child sexual abuse materials being uploaded to a particular site of an electronic services provider. An investigation into that user-led law enforcement to Harris. 

HSI Jacksonville Special Agents and Task Force Officers executed a search warrant at Harris’s home. They located a thumb drive concealed in the bottom portion of a small box in the top drawer of the nightstand next to Harris’s bed. A subsequent onsite forensic preview of the thumb drive by HSI revealed numerous videos and images depicting child sex abuse materials.

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 are visible in several files. A witness identified Harris’s arm/tattoos, and Harris’s bathroom and garage were visible in several other images on the thumb drive. One of the girls depicted in the images was subsequently identified as a child to whom Harris had access.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Washington is prosecuting it.

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 U.S. 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.