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Justice News

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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tampa Man Arrested For Trading Child Pornography

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the arrest of Richard Donald Ragsdale (56, Tampa) on a federal complaint charging him with transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography. Ragsdale made his initial appearance on June 24, 2014, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas B. McCoun, III.

According to the complaint, on May 5, 2014, an undercover agent downloaded child pornography over the Internet from an Internet Protocol (IP) address that was connected to Ragsdale’s residence. Further investigation revealed online chats by Ragsdale, in which he admitted to having prior sexual contact with children and discussed the sexual abuse of children. On June 24, 2014, a federal search warrant was executed at Ragsdale’s Tampa residence. Agents found hundreds of videos and images depicting child pornography on Ragsdale’s laptop.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Marshals Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Peresie.

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 (CEOS), 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

Updated January 26, 2015