Jacksonville, Florida – Joshua Dale Whitt (25, Macclenny) has pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled. Whitt has been detained since his arrest on May 2, 2018.
According to court documents, on January 2, 2013, Whitt was convicted of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Clermont County, Ohio. In early 2018, Whitt traveled from Ohio to Florida, where he resided at a motel in Macclenny. In doing so, he failed to register as a sex offender with authorities in both Ohio and Florida as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
SORNA is part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The Adam Walsh Act also provides for the use of federal law enforcement resources, including the United States Marshals Service, to assist state and local authorities in locating and apprehending non-compliant sex offenders.
This case was investigated by the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
It is another case 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.