Jacksonville Man Sentenced To Fifteen Years In Federal Prison For Attempted Production Of Child Sex Abuse Material
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal jury has found James Wayne Houck (65, Jacksonville) guilty of seven counts of distributing child sex abuse materials. Houck faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, up to 20 years, in federal prison on each count and a potential life term of supervised release. He was remanded into custody pending his sentencing hearing on May 1, 2023.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on June 13, 2020, a user named “jimboleg” distributed multiple images of child sex abuse materials in the group “Everything goes #yggirls” on a particular social media application. An FBI investigation into the social media app account identified Houck as the person using the “jimboleg” account. FBI agents interviewed Houck multiple times about his activity on the app and he initially admitted to having the “jimboleg” account but did not recall sharing the child sex abuse materials. However, he later admitted to sharing the child sex abuse material on the app. FBI agents attempted to review Houck’s cellphone as part of their investigation, but he turned his phone into the phone carrier service provider to obtain a new phone and provided that new phone to the FBI for review. The service provider’s records confirmed that the phone that Houck turned in was the phone he had at the time he distributed the child sex abuse materials, despite Houck telling the FBI it was a different phone.
Later in their investigation, the FBI learned from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that there was an investigation by another federal law enforcement agency about an upload of child sex abuse material to the social media app by user “jimleg6969” in 2019. The IP address from that investigation was the same as the one for “jimboleg.” Both social media app accounts had email addresses used by Houck.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington.
It is another 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, 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.