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Ex-JSO officer pleads guilty to child-porn charges

Man accused of paying woman for images of her 3-year-old daughter

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A former Jacksonville police officer indicted last fall on child-pornography charges pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Federal agents discovered Michael Eugene Williams was paying a woman for pornographic images of her 3-year-old daughter. He pleaded guilty to possession and trafficking in child pornography. He could face 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to the criminal complaint, on July 7, officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at Williams’ home after receiving information that he was uploading child pornography for sharing to Google Drive.

“They did not try to brush it under the table or anything,” News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said. “They acted very quickly and got the federal agencies involved also.”

Smith said Williams didn’t get any special treatment just because he was a former police officer.

“Zero tolerance no matter who, and I'm glad that they acted quickly on that,” Sheriff Williams said.

Agents seized Williams' cellphone and a tablet and said that they found Williams had been text messaging a woman in Texas who was producing pornographic images of her 3-year-old daughter for Williams in exchange for money that Williams wired to her.

The JSO was able to identify the woman in Texas and coordinate with federal agents and Texas state agents to secure a search warrant for the woman’s home.

During an interview with her, officials said she admitted to sending sexually explicit images of her daughter to Williams in exchange for money. She also said that she had recent contact with Williams using a messaging app.

Law enforcement officers obtained a federal search warrant for Williams’ home and seized a cellphone that belonged to him that they said contained additional images of child pornography received from the woman in Texas, as well as explicit chats of sexual conduct Williams wished to engage in with the child.

Williams, who was hired by the Sheriff's Office in 1994, resigned in 2011, citing personal reasons. Williams was previously arrested in Clay County in 2010 and 2011 on charges of felony battery and violating a domestic violence injunction three times.

Michael Eugene Williams is not related to Sheriff Mike Williams.

There's no word on what happened to the little girl. Her mother is being prosecuted by the state of Texas, according to authorities.