In April, members of the task force served a search warrant for crimes relating to child pornography at a residence in Tallahassee, where they recovered computer equipment, child pornographic images and videos.
During the investigation, the task force identified a computer that was possessing and/or sharing child pornography through a file sharing program. Evidence led to the identification of Barnes as the suspect.
Through forensic previews, interviews, and other investigative measures, warrants for Barnes' arrest were obtained on Aug. 9. He turned himself in at the Leon County Jail on Aug. 14.
"Through partnerships with state, local and other federal law enforcement agencies, ICE will continue to vigorously investigate child exploitation cases like this one," said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Homeland Security Investigations in Tampa, Fla.
The investigation that led to this case was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable.
Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,800 individuals through Operation Predator. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.