A 49-year-old man with nine previous convictions on sex charges in New Jersey was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to trying to get someone he thought was a Clay County 13-year-old to engage in sex, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
According to court documents, James Shook, of Weeki Wachee, Florida, had posted an online ad in January 2020 that he was seeking young girls for sex; “first timers welcome!” A special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigate Service, posing as a 13-year-old girl, responded. Despite knowing the girl’s age, Shook requested nude photos and send “her” explicit photos of himself, then arranged to travel to Clay County to meet for sex.
When Shook arrived at what he believed was the child’s home, he was arrested by special agents with Homeland Security.
Shook pleaded guilty in February.
He was once of five arrested in early 2020 as part of a joint operation in Orange Park that included resources of Clay County, St. Johns County and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.