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Child Exploitation

Former Jacksonville Sheriff's Office corrections officer indicted on child pornography charges

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office corrections officer was arrested Friday on multiple child pornography charges. An investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance provided by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, led to the arrest.

Leon Perry Brooks Sr., 39, of Jacksonville, was indicted on two counts of receipt of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. If convicted of the receipt counts and the distribution count, he faces between five and 20 years in federal prison for each count. Brooks faces up to 10 years in federal prison for the possession of child pornography charge.

According to the indictment, the offenses occurred between June 19, 2012, and May 20, 2013. The charges focus on specific computer files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

A federal grand jury indicted Brooks Wednesday. He made his initial appearance in Jacksonville federal court Friday afternoon.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

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.