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In separate cases, 1 Jacksonville man guilty of producing child porn, 2nd indicted

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Attorney’s Office on Friday announced that a 28-year-old Jacksonville man pleaded guilty to producing images of sexual abuse of children and other charges while a 41-year-old Jacksonville man was indicted on similar charges in a different case.

According to court documents, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children learned from a social networking and file-sharing provider that a particular user was sharing images of child sex abuse that were created in Duval County. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office searched the home of Harlon Prater and said he admitted to viewing and sharing images of child sex abuse. He also admitted to using his cellphone to produce images of babies being sexually abused.

Authorities said they found evidence that Prater had distributed images and videos of child sex abuse to others over social media and that he had amassed a collection on his cellphone of more than 900 images and 50 videos of children being sexually abused.

Prater pleaded guilty to two counts of producing images depicting the sexual abuse of children and one count of transporting images of sexual abuse of a child. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years and up to 80 years, in federal prison and a potential life term of supervised release when he is sentenced in May.

The second case also came as the result of information received by the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children that a user of an online social messaging application uploaded and distributed images of child sex abuse on the service. JSO traced the IP address used to upload the image to the home of Columbus Jeffrey.

During an interview, Jeffrey identified himself and a child depicted in one of the photos that had been uploaded to the app. JSO detectives were able to identify and locate the child in the photos.

Jeffrey was charged with two counts of producing images depicting the sexual abuse of a child. If convicted on both counts, Jeffrey faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years and up to 60 years in federal prison.