Former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Dispatcher Arrested And Charged With Distributing Photos And A Video Depicting The Sexual Abuse Of Young Children
Jacksonville, Florida – Acting United States Attorney Karin Hoppmann announces that Scott Matthew Yotka (37, Jacksonville) has been arrested and charged with distributing images and a video over the internet depicting the sexual abuse of young children. Yotka faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, and up to 20 years, in federal prison and a potential life term of supervised release. Yotka was arrested by FBI agents at his home on September 17, 2021, and he remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing on September 22, 2021.
According to court documents, on September 15, 2021, Yotka, using the name “Scottnjax44,” utilized a particular social media application (app) to engage in online private conversations with an undercover FBI task force officer in Washington, D.C., who was posing as the parent of a child. Yotka was acting as the administrator of a public chat room on this app. During a private message conversation, Yotka engaged in an explicit conversation with the undercover officer regarding the sexual exploitation of children. Additionally, Yotka sent the undercover officer several photos and one video that depicted young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Yotka also stated that he was employed as an “emergency dispatcher” and worked “12 hour shifts.”
The FBI sought emergency disclosure information from the app and AT&T that revealed internet protocol login activity by the “Scottnjax44” account resolved, in part, to Yotka’s residence in Jacksonville and the subscriber listed on that account was “Scott Yotka.” This information also indicated that the app company listed frequent login activity from a second IP address used by the “Scottnjax44” user account, which activity resolved to the City of Jacksonville at the Ed Ball Building located in downtown Jacksonville. On September 16, 2021, FBI agents coordinated with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) and confirmed that Yotka was at that time employed by JSO as a dispatcher and that he routinely worked a 12-hour night shift.
On the morning of September 17, 2021, the FBI, assisted by the JSO, executed a federal search warrant at Yotka’s residence and arrested Yotka.
A complaint is merely a 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation in Jacksonville and Washington, D.C. and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
This 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.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation should contact the FBI Jacksonville office at 904.248.7000.