Duval County

Federal jury convicts Jacksonville man for distributing child pornography

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — U.S. attorney Roger B. Handberg announced that a federal jury has found 65-year-old James Wayne Houck of Jacksonville guilty of seven counts of distributing child sex abuse materials.

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Houck faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years and up to 20 years in federal prison on each count and a potential life term of supervised release. His sentencing hearing on is May 1.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on June 13, 2020, a user named “jimboleg” distributed multiple images of child sex abuse in the group “Everything goes #yggirls” on a particular social media app. A FBI investigation into the social media account identified Houck as the person using the “jimboleg” account.

FBI agents attempted to review Houck’s cellphone as part of their investigation, but he turned his phone into the phone carrier service provider to obtain a new phone and provided that new phone to the FBI for review. The service provider’s records confirmed that the phone that Houck turned in was the phone he had at the time he distributed child pornography, despite Houck telling the FBI it was a different phone.

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Later in their investigation, the FBI learned from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that there was an investigation by another federal law enforcement agency about an upload of child pornography to the social media app by user “jimleg6969″ in 2019. The IP address from that investigation was the same as the one for “jimboleg.” Both social media accounts had email addresses used by Houck.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorney Ashley Washington.

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It is another case that 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 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.

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