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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Jacksonville Man Pleads Guilty To Receiving Child Pornography Over The Internet

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced that Shaun Andrew Copenhaver (29, Jacksonville) yesterday pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography over the Internet. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years, up to 20 years, in federal prison, and a potential life term of supervision. Copenhaver has been in custody since his arrest on February 6, 2014. A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.

According to court documents, an agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Jacksonville began an undercover investigation to identify individuals in the area that had access to and/or were trading images and videos of child pornography over the Internet. The agent determined that a local computer was hosting images of child pornography using a peer-to-peer file sharing program, and was able to download several pornographic videos from this computer. Further investigation traced the Internet subscriber information to Copenhaver’s Jacksonville residence.       

On February 6, 2014, law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at Copenhaver=s residence and seized a computer and an external hard disk drive.  Copenhaver was at the residence. During an interview with agents, he admitted that he had been involved in downloading child pornography from the Internet for about five years. Subsequent analysis of Copenhaver’s external hard drive revealed that it contained videos depicting the sexual abuse of minor children.        

This case was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 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.usdoj.gov/psc.  

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Updated January 26, 2015