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Florida Man Indicted on Federal Charges Involving Extortion and Child Pornography

JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announced that Joshua Jay Williamson (24, Jacksonville), made his initial appearance in federal court today in Jacksonville after having been indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of making extortionate communications over the Internet and one count of possessing child pornography. For each of the extortion counts, Williamson faces a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine. On the child pornography possession count, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Williamson will be arraigned in federal court, in Jacksonville, before United States Magistrate Judge Monte C. Richardson on March 30, 2012, at 10:30 a.m.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Tallahassee and Jacksonville, the Franklin Police Department (Tennessee), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

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 until, and unless, proven guilty.

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.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

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