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Press Release

Fernandina Beach Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Federal Prison For Attempting To Entice An 11-Year-Old Child To Engage In Sexual Activity

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

Jacksonville, Florida – United States District Judge Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced William Rand Paige, Jr. (50, Fernandina Beach) to 10 years in federal prison for attempting to entice a 11-year-old child to engage in sexual activity. Paige was also ordered to serve a 10-year term of supervised release and to register as a sex offender. Paige was arrested on December 18, 2023, and has been detained since that time. Paige entered a guilty plea on February 13, 2024.  

According to court documents, on November 29, 2023, an undercover FBI agent in Jacksonville was conducting an online undercover operation to identify individuals who were seeking to meet and engage in sexual activity with children. Posing as a person with access to an 11-year-old child, the undercover agent was online in a social messaging app when he was contacted by an individual using the app user name “ah..904,” subsequently identified as Paige. After learning the age of the “child,” Paige asked the agent if he and the “child” would “like her to be touched all over.” In a series of online conversations on this app and emails from November 29 through December 11, 2023, Paige discussed in graphic detail his desire to meet the “child” and engage in sexual activity with “her.” When his account on the app was banned by the administrator, Paige later established a different account on the same app and used it to continue communicating with the agent. On December 4 and again on December 11, 2023, Paige sent the undercover agent three videos depicting young children being sexually abused.

On December 18, 2023, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Paige’s residence and arrested Paige. During an interview, Paige admitted that he had been on the app talking with “a guy” about meeting and “touching” an 11-year-old child. A review of Paige’s cellphone revealed it contained at least one photo and one video depicting the sexual abuse of a child, as well as the same email account used by Paige to communicate with the undercover agent about meeting the “child” for sex.      

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, and the 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 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 June 4, 2024

Project Safe Childhood