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Press Release

Williston Man Arrested on Federal Criminal Complaint for Child Exploitation, Child Pornography, Distribution of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina --- United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr., announced today that Justin Chavis, of Williston, South Carolina, was arrested on a federal criminal complaint and charged with child exploitation, child pornography, and distribution of child pornography.

Chavis had his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges, where he waived a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing. At this time, he remains in custody. According to the complaint, Chavis engaged in a conversation with an undercover law enforcement officer wherein he shared sexually explicit images and videos of children that he claimed to have created.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who brought the federal criminal complaint within twenty-four hours of discovering the underlying facts. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James H. May of the Columbia Office.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information, please visit

U.S. Attorney McCoy stated that all charges in this case are merely allegations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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Derek A. Shoemake (843) 813-0982

Updated April 9, 2020

Project Safe Childhood