Jacksonville Man Sentenced to 3 Years in Federal Prison for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender
Jacksonville, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces today that Jeffrey Ramon Highsmith (36, Jacksonville) was sentenced to 3 years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan for failing to register as sex offender, after traveling from Florida to North Carolina. Highsmith was also sentenced to serve a fifteen year term of supervised release during which he is prohibited from unsupervised contact with minor children. Highsmith has been in custody since his arrest on January 19, 2010 in North Carolina.
According to court documents, on February 27, 2006, in Flagler County, Florida, Highsmith was convicted of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child. He was sentenced to 24 months in prison and three years of sex offender probation following his incarceration. On May 25, 2007, Highsmith was released from custody, and on July 18, 2007, he registered as a convicted sex offender with the State of Florida. Florida sex offender registration requirements mandated that Highsmith re-register twice yearly. In connection with his sex offender probationary period, he was required to wear an electronic monitoring device. On December 19, 2009, Highsmith removed the electronic monitoring device and discarded it in downtown Jacksonville, thus violating the conditions of his release. He fled to North Carolina without first notifying local authorities in Jacksonville, in violation of his sex offender registration requirements. On January 19, 2010, Highsmith was arrested in North Carolina by officers with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service.
This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service, the Macon County (North Carolina) Sheriff’s Office, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was 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 the 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.projectsafechildhood.gov. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov and click on the tab “other resources.”