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October 9, 2014Jacksonville, FL, United StatesChild Exploitation

Former corrections officer convicted of possessing child pornography

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A former Jacksonville corrections officer was found guilty Wednesday of four counts of possession of child pornography. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in conjunction with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office's (JSO).

Leon Perry Brooks Sr., 40, of Jacksonville, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on each count. Brooks was indicted Dec. 18, 2013. His sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

"No crime is more serious than the sexual exploitation of a child. It is particularly egregious when a law enforcement officer or any person in a position of public trust engages in activity that serves to support such exploitation," said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. "Through Operation Predator, HSI will continue to engage with our law enforcement partners in our efforts to combat the sexual abuse of children."

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, in January 2013 a JSO detective working on HSI Jacksonville's Child Exploitation Task Force was able to download two child pornography videos from an IP address registered to Brooks. A search warrant was subsequently executed at his home, which resulted in the seizure of several computers. Two of these computers contained multiple videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE 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, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI's Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

Updated: 03/27/2015