Interagency task force working to combat threat to children & citizens across Northeast Florida

Child sexual exploitation and human trafficking are real and happening in Northeast Florida communities.

On Wednesday, sheriffs from across Northeast Florida met to discuss how they’re combatting these issues with the Interagency Child Exploitation and Persons Trafficking task force.


“You’re talking about those that prey on others. And, you know, there’s nothing more important than trying to rescue people that are in those situations,” Clay County Undersheriff Ron Lendvay. “Whether it’s a labor trafficking, sex trafficking situation, or the sexual exploitation of children.”

At Wednesday’s meeting to look back on the last year of the intercept task force, officials revealed that in 2023, seven different law enforcement agencies worked together to review 224 electronic devices, combing through 6.3 million images and videos, 75,000 of which contained child sexual abuse material. Ultimately, this led to 31 arrests, 21 convictions, and 18 offenders sentenced in 2023 in Northeast Florida.

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Each one of those convictions serves to save the lives and futures of sometimes multiple children at a time.

“A lot of times what we see in these cases is a defendant doesn’t just have one victim. They often have additional victims that we learn about,” U.S Attorney for the Middle District of Florida Roger Handberg said. “And so we know when we prosecute these cases, we’re doing justice for them and we’re also stopping future victims from being victimized.”

As the task force continues to look to bring those criminals to justice and protect your children and members of the community, they also ask everyone in the community that if they see something, say something, as it just may save a lifetime of trauma.

[DOWNLOAD: Free Action News Jax app for alerts as news breaks]

Click here to download the free Action News Jax news and weather apps, click here to download the Action News Jax Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Action News Jax live.