Deputies, feds search for child porn in Orange Park apartment

Authorities say investigators still gathering evidence

By Vic Micolucci - Reporter, anchor , David Benfield - Web producer

ORANGE PARK, Fla. - An Orange Park apartment was raided Thursday as part of an ongoing child exploitation and child pornography investigation, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said. 

Detectives and federal agents with the Homeland Security Investigations team searched a unit at the Park Place Apartments on Loring Avenue, across the street from a private school, officials said. 

Sheriff's Office Sgt. Keith Smith said a SWAT team was called as a precaution.

Maegan Rice said she lives nearby and takes her kids for walks around the corner. Rice said the raid was not something she wanted to see. 

"It is definitely concerning," Rice said. 

News4Jax reporter Vic Micolucci spoke to a man leaving the apartment who said he may or may not be the man authorities are investigating and told Micolucci "not to cover this story." 

The man told Micolucci, "I do not give you permission to cover this story because it may involve me and I do not give you permission." 

When Micolucci asked if the apartment raided was his, he replied, "Man, I’m not saying it is or it isn’t."

While the man didn’t admit anything incriminating, sources say he’s at the center of the investigation.

No arrests have been made because investigators are still gathering evidence, but the Sheriff’s Office did say the investigation centers around an adult male who lived in the apartment. 

The raid was especially concerning for the people living in the neighborhood because of the high number of families and the nearby school. 

Detectives removed possible evidence from the apartment and said there will be an in-depth, long-term investigation. Neighbors said they hope they have enough to make an arrest so the woman and her kids, can feel safe again. 

"They are never out of my sight anyways," Rice said. "I will definitely keep it that way."

Clay County deputies said they do not believe there is any danger to children in the area.
 

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