Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Sam David Harris, Jr. (38, Middleburg) has pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child sexual abuse images. Harris faces a minimum mandatory term of 15 years, and up to 60 years, in federal prison. Harris has been detained since his arrest on April 20, 2023.
According to the plea agreement, in February 2023, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) began an investigation into a cyber tip received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about child sexual abuse materials being uploaded to a particular site of an electronic services provider. An investigation into that user led law enforcement to Harris.
On April 20, 2023, HSI Jacksonville Special Agents and Task Force Officers executed search warrant at Harris’s home and located a thumb drive that had been concealed in the bottom portion of a small box in the top drawer of the nightstand next to Harris’s bed. Subsequent onsite forensic preview of the thumb drive by HSI revealed numerous videos and images depicting child sex abuse materials.
Additional analysis of the thumb drive revealed more than 100 images that appeared to have been produced by Harris. Harris’s hand, arm, and forearm are visible in several of the files. A witness identified Harris’s arm/tattoos, as well as Harris’s bathroom and garage that were visible in several other images on the thumb drive. One of the girls depicted in the images was subsequently identified as a child to whom Harris had access.
This case was investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington.
This 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.justice.gov/psc.