According to court documents, in February 2011, an undercover officer with the Florida Attorney General's Office attempted to identify individuals using a particular computer network to share child pornography files. Between February and March 2011, the officer closely tracked a computer used to share these files. The owner of that computer was Alfredo Roberto Townsend, 48, of Columbus, Ga. Townsend used his computer to access the Internet at various locations during this period of time, including his permanent residence in Columbus, an apartment in Jacksonville and a temporary housing unit on Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.
On May 3, 2011, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Townsend's apartment on Kernan Boulevard in Jacksonville. A forensic analysis of his computer revealed 27 images and 245 videos of child pornography. They had all been downloaded between Aug. 27, 2009, and May 3, 2011. During an interview, Townsend indicated that he traveled to Georgia roughly every two weeks and admitted using other unsecured wireless networks to download child pornography. He stated that he had downloaded child pornography since 2009 and began doing so out of "sick curiosity."
Townsend pleaded guilty to this charge on Feb. 23. He has been in custody since his arrest May 3, 2011.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.