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September 11, 2020Jacksonville, FL, United StatesChild Exploitation

County library employee arrested for child exploitation production

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – A Putnam County man was arrested and charged with production and possession of child exploitation material last week. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

Kurt Batucan Sheldon, 29, of Interlachen, faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, and up to 50 years, in federal prison.

Any person who was, or knows of someone who may have been, a possible child victim is urged to contact HSI at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or online tip form.

“Unfortunately, this case highlights the extreme dangers for children and social media applications,” said HSI Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips. “Because of alert parents, and outstanding teamwork with Clay and Putnam Counties Sherriff’s Offices, this predator is no longer able to sexually exploit children.”

According to the complaint, parents of a minor child made a report to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office about sexually explicit messages being sent by an adult to their daughter on Snapchat and Whisper. The adult referred to himself as “K t.” “K t” was his screen name on Snapchat, but his Snapchat username was “tacticfallout.” “K t” originally began communicating with the child on Whisper and represented himself as a male, between the ages of 25-29. The child told him that she was 15 years old. “K t” told the child that his name was “Kurt” and that he lived in Putnam. The child told “Kurt” she lived with her parents and was in school. Their conversation later moved to Snapchat and “K t” requested child exploitation material – images and videos – from the child and directed the child on how to take the images and how to pose. Approximately 50 images and/or videos were sent to “K t” at his direction. Further investigation by HSI and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office identified Sheldon’s residence as the source of the IP address used by the Snapchat account “tacticfallout,” and the Gmail account associated with this Snapchat account.

On September 4, 2020, HSI special agents and deputies and detectives with the Clay and Putnam County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Sheldon’s residence. Sheldon admitted there was child sexual abuse material on the computer. He also admitted to asking girls he met on online applications, whom he knew to be underage, to send him nude photographs, including a 15-year-old female.

It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington and Kelly Karase, with the office of Middle District Florida United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez.

Updated: 09/15/2020