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Press Release

Clay County Man Arrested And Charged With Distributing And Possessing Child Sex Abuse Videos And Images

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the arrest and the return of an indictment charging Carl Stephen Smith, Jr. (32, Green Cove Springs) with distributing and possessing child sexual abuse materials using the internet. If convicted, Smith faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, up to 40 years, in federal prison and a potential life term of supervised release. Smith was arrested on January 31, 2023, and has been detained pending trial in this case.

According to court documents and evidence proffered in open court, in July 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a CyberTipline report from an online social media application (app) that three child sexual abuse videos had been uploaded on the app by a user named “daddysir142.” The IP address used to upload these materials resolved to an internet service provider in Green Cove Springs. An investigation commenced by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office revealed nine other CyberTipline reports submitted by several online social media apps for IP addresses that traced back to either the same internet service provider account at Smith’s residence or a cellphone service carrier used by Smith.

On January 31, 2023, members of the Northeast Florida Intercept Task Force, including agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Clay County Sheriff's Office, and other state and local investigators, executed a federal search warrant at Smith’s residence and seized a cellphone belonging to Smith. A forensic review of this device revealed that it contained at least 15 videos and 14 images depicting young children being sexually abused. The review also showed Smith had distributed one such video over the internet on January 6, 2023, using a social media app. 

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 Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). 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 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 child victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated February 13, 2023

Project Safe Childhood