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Press Release

North Florida Man Sentenced To 30 Years Imprisonment After Conviction On Child Pornography Charges

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

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Joseph Donald Roberts, 43, of Branford, Florida, was sentenced to 30 years
imprisonment for possession, receipt, and production of child pornography, some involving
prepubescent children. The sentence, imposed in federal court on Monday, was announced by Lawrence
Keefe, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

“The more we hold offenders accountable and do our part to prevent sexual violence and support
survivors, the further we will go in ending the blight of child sexual abuse,” Keefe said. “The
U.S. Attorney’s Office is wholly committed to this effort and will continue to do everything in its
power to bring these vile offenders to justice.”

On May 18, 2018, investigators identified a subject using the internet within Florida to distribute
and receive images and videos of child pornography. Further investigation led to the seizure of
numerous computers and electronic storage devices from Roberts’ residence in Branford. A forensic
examination of the devices revealed that Roberts had hundreds of images and videos depicting the
sexual exploitation of children, including prepubescent children. Further examination determined
that Roberts had also used his cell phone in an attempt to create sexually explicit videos
depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

“This strong sentencing represents the severity of this crime,” said Micah McCombs, Homeland
Security Investigations’ Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge. “Thanks to our HSI special
agents, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, this
child predator is off our streets and is being held accountable for the tremendous harm he has

Child pornography is a brutal crime because each image or movie represents an assault on an
innocent child who has been sexually abused,” said FDLE Tallahassee Special Agent in Charge Mark
Perez.  “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to address these
heinous acts.”

Roberts was indicted by a grand jury and later convicted in a two-day jury trial. The trial jury
made a special finding that the images possessed by Roberts included children younger than 12.

The case was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Homeland Security
Investigations. The case was prosecuted by the Northern District of Florida’s Child Exploitation
and Human Trafficking Coordinator, Assistant United States Attorney Frank Williams.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as
the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public
court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
website. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida,


U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Florida
(850) 216-3845

Updated December 17, 2019