Jacksonville man arrested on child porn charges in FBI raid

Michael Aurandt, 50, is accused of distributing child pornography last October

A courtroom sketch of Michael Aurandt during his first appearance Friday. (Steve Bridges, Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Friday morning FBI raid of a Fort Caroline-area home resulted in the arrest of a 50-year-old Jacksonville man on child pornography charges.

Michael Aurandt appeared before a judge in federal court downtown on Friday afternoon to face charges of distribution of child pornography. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted, plus a $250,000 fine.

About 7 a.m. Friday, FBI special agents converged on the Ferber Road home where Aurandt has been living for the past nine months, seizing boxes and bags of evidence and taking the 50-year-old man into custody.

In response to News4Jax inquiries, an FBI spokesperson said agents were conducting a search as part of an unspecified investigation, adding that there was no known threat to the surrounding neighborhood.

The nature of that investigation became clear later Friday when Aurandt appeared in federal court to face a criminal complaint accusing him of distributing child porn last October.

During his first appearance, Aurandt told U.S. Magistrate Judge James Klindt he served four years in the Navy. He said he enlisted in the Navy after dropping out of high school and getting his GED.

No one answered the door at the home near Ferber and Heath roads Friday afternoon.

A neighbor who spoke with News4Jax on the condition of anonymity said she was floored when she saw a flurry of FBI activity at the home while returning from a morning walk.

“I’m just freaking out,” the neighbor said. “We’ve been here a long time. We don’t have this kind of issue in our neighborhood, so it’s very concerning.”

Aurandt is scheduled to be back in court on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. In the meantime, he’s being held without bond.

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