JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the return of an indictment charging Richard Earl Jenkins, Jr. (43, Jacksonville) with three counts of production of child pornography. If convicted, Jenkins faces a minimum mandatory term of 15 years, and up to 30 years, in federal prison for each count.
According to the indictment, between October 2015 and March 2019, Jenkins produced child pornography.READ MORE: 'A Birthday Present To Ahmaud': Georgia's Citizen's Arrest Law Is Repealed
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 25,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2019, more than 3,500 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.READ MORE: Hillsborough County Schools Avoids State Takeover With COVID-19 Money
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.MORE NEWS: Norcross Inn Homicide Suspect Arrested