Jacksonville Man Charged With Producing Images Depicting The Sexual Abuse Of A Child
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announced the return of an indictment charging Columbus Donavan Jeffrey (41, Jacksonville) with two counts of producing images depicting the sexual abuse of a child. If convicted on all counts, Jeffrey faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years, and up to 60 years, in federal prison. Jeffrey was arrested on October 3, 2019, on related state charges, and is currently detained pending trial.
According to court documents, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received two reports from a company that hosts and administers an online social messaging application. These reports revealed that on May 3, 2019, a user named “hideme1977” had uploaded and distributed child sex abuse images over using the application. Further investigation by NCMEC and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) revealed that the internet protocol address used to upload these images traced back to a residence where Jeffrey lived. On October 3, 2019, JSO detectives and officers executed a search warrant at the home. During an interview, Jeffrey admitted, among other things, that he had used the username “hideme1977” on the messaging application, and he identified himself and a child depicted in one of the photos that had been uploaded to the app. JSO detectives were able to identify and locate the child in the photos.
An indictment is merely a formal 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 Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys D. Rodney Brown and Kelly S. Karase.
It 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.