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Press Release

Clay County Man Pleads Guilty To Using The Internet To Distribute Videos Of Young Children Being Sexually Abused

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

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Carl Stephen Smith, Jr. (33, Green Cove Springs) has pleaded guilty to distributing child sexual abuse materials using the internet. Smith faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, up to 20 years, in federal prison. Smith was arrested on January 31, 2023, and has been detained since that time.

According to court documents, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a CyberTipline report in July 2022 from an online social media application (app) that indicated three child sexual abuse videos had been uploaded on the app by a user named “daddysir142.” The internet protocol (IP) address used to upload these materials was traced to an internet service provider in Green Cove Springs. An investigation by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office revealed numerous other CyberTipline reports submitted by online social media apps for IP addresses that were linked to Smith and his residence in Green Cove Springs.

On January 31, 2023, agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), together with other law enforcement personnel, executed a federal search warrant at Smith’s residence. During an interview with law enforcement, Smith admitted that he communicated with minors on social media and that he used social media apps to search for child sexual abuse materials.

HSI agents seized a cellphone belonging to Smith. A forensic review of this device revealed that it contained at least 22 videos and 37 photos depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The device contained online conversations between Smith and other users in which Smith distributed materials depicting the sexual abuse of young children.

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 9, 2024

Project Safe Childhood