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Press Release

Three-Time Convicted Sex Offender And Roommates Charged With Child Exploitation Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Joshua Tripp (42, Clearwater) with three counts of distributing and one count of possessing child sex abuse material. If convicted, Tripp faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, up to 40 years, in federal prison for each distribution count and a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment for the possession count. Tripp is a registered sex offender and has prior felony convictions for aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, aggravated statutory rape, and lewd and lascivious molestation. The grand jury also returned indictments charging Tripp’s roommates, Craigan Joyner (20, Clearwater) and Donald Shadowens (30, Clearwater), with one count of receiving and one count of possessing child sexual abuse materials. If convicted, each faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, up to 20 years, for the receipt count and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for the possession count.

On August 19, 2022, Tripp, Joyner, and Shadowens made their initial appearances before the Honorable Christopher P. Tuite. Tripp and Joyner were detained pending trial. Shadowens was released on a bond with conditions.

According to the court documents, Tripp, Joyner, and Shadowens all lived together at the same residence in Clearwater. On August 18, 2022, investigators executed a search warrant at the home and discovered more than 1,000 images and videos of child sexual abuse material on the defendants’ devices. This material included the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12 and sado-masochistic images of children.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty. 

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, with substantial assistance from the Dickson County (Tennessee) Sheriff’s Office, the Clearwater Police Department, and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin Claire Favorit.

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

Updated September 15, 2022

Project Safe Childhood