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Press Release

Jacksonville Brothers Sentenced To Federal Prison For Child Sexual Exploitation Offenses And Ordered To Pay $141,000 In Restitution To Victims

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

Jacksonville, Florida – United States District Judge Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced Jonathan William Brown (26, Jacksonville) to five years in federal prison for receiving photos and videos depicting the sexual abuse of young children. His brother, Joshua Thomas Brown (28, Jacksonville), was sentenced to four years and six months in federal prison for possessing similar illegal photos and videos. Jonathan Brown was also ordered to serve a 15-year term of supervised release, register as a sex offender, and pay $46,000 in restitution to child victims. The court ordered Joshua Brown to serve a 10-year term of supervised release, register as a sex offender, and pay $95,000 in restitution to child victims.

Jonathan William Brown had pleaded guilty on March 16, 2023, and Joshua Brown had pleaded guilty on June 1, 2023. Both have been detained since their arrests on August 30, 2022.

According to court documents, in January 2022, an internet service provider documented several uploads of child sexual abuse material to a particular online account with the user name “Jonathan Brown” and other identifiers that were associated with this same name. These reports were forwarded to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office for investigation. The investigation revealed that at least one contraband file had been uploaded using an internet connection that resolved to Jonathan Brown’s residence in Jacksonville.  

On July 8, 2022, agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), together with officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office executed a federal search warrant at Jonathan Brown’s residence. Jonathan Brown was at the residence. During the execution of this warrant, agents seized several electronic devices, including computers, cellphones, and storage media. During an interview with law enforcement, Jonathan Brown stated that he had downloaded child sexual abuse materials, he had started engaging in this conduct “a long time ago” when he was in middle school, and since then has been in a cycle of seeking such materials on the internet, downloading it, and then deleting it. Forensic analysis of his electronic devices revealed that Jonathan Brown had downloaded more than 400 photos and 10 videos of child sexual abuse materials, including photos depicting infants and toddlers being sexually abused.

Joshua Brown lived at the same residence and was present during the search on July 8, 2022. During an interview with law enforcement, Joshua Brown admitted that a particular cellphone that was seized belonged to him and that only he used it. Forensic analysis of this device revealed that it contained hundreds of image and video files of child sexual abuse material. Further investigation revealed that Joshua Brown possessed more than 2,100 videos and 600 photos depicting children being sexually abused that were recovered from his three cellphones, a gaming computer, an external hard disk drive, and his online cloud storage account.

“This disturbing investigation exposed the Brown brothers, who admittedly shared child sexual abuse materials on the internet for many years. These images included vile depictions of infants and toddlers being sexually abused,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips. “Thanks to the law enforcement partnerships forged under the Northeast Florida INTERCEPT Task Force, we were able to identify these brothers and put a stop to their victimization of our most vulnerable.”

These cases were investigated by the Northeast Florida INTECEPT Task Force, to include Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. They were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

These cases were 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

Updated October 11, 2023

Project Safe Childhood