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Justice News

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

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lake City Man Pleads Guilty To Possessing Child Pornography

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced today that Ronald Charles Waters (65, Lake City) pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.  Waters faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a potential life term of supervision.  Waters was arrested on November 20, 2013 in Lake City.  He has been in the custody of the United States Marshals Service since that time. 

According to court documents, agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) determined that several individuals had received an email containing images of child pornography. Further investigation revealed that the email address subscriber was listed as “R. Waters,” and the account was traced to a residence in Lake City where Waters resided.  HSI agents interviewed Waters at his residence, at which time Waters consented to a search of his computer.  Three images depicting child pornography were found on the computer.  The images were located in deleted space.      

On November 20, 2013, HSI agents and other law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at Waters’ residence.  Waters was present and agreed to speak with the agents.  During the interview, Waters stated that he was the only one who had access to his computer media.  A forensic analysis of the computer revealed that it contained at least two videos and at least 16 images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  

This case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Jacksonville Sheriff=s Office, and the Lake City Police Department.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

It is another case was 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. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Updated January 26, 2015