Jacksonville Man Guilty Of Downloading Sexual Abuse Videos And Images Using The “Dark Web”
Jacksonville, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces that Jason Dean Barnes (41, Jacksonville) has been found guilty of receiving child sexual abuse images and videos over the Internet using a “dark web” application following a bench trial. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, up to 20 years, in federal prison. A sentencing date has been set for December 18, 2017.
According to court documents, FBI agents began an online undercover investigation to identify individuals who were using a particular anonymizing website on the “dark web” to access and receive images and videos depicting child pornography. In February 2015, FBI agents apprehended the administrator of this website and seized it from its web-hosting facility. Agents identified Barnes after he had accessed child pornography on the website on February 28 and March 3, 2015.
On July 29, 2015, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Barnes’s residence. During an interview, Barnes admitted to searching for, downloading, and viewing child pornography using the website, and that he had struggled with this addiction for a number of years. A forensic examination of Barnes’s laptop computer revealed that it contained at least 500 videos and at least 5,000 images depicting child pornography, including several videos that Barnes had downloaded earlier that same morning.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
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 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.