Former Fernandina Beach Boy Scout leader facing child porn charges

Jason Thomas Roberts is a lieutenant colonel in the Florida Air National Guard and a local business owner

A business owner and former Boy Scout leader in Fernandina Beach is facing 13 counts of child porn possession after an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – A business owner and former Boy Scout leader in Fernandina Beach is facing 13 counts of child porn possession after an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Jason Thomas Roberts, 45, is the owner of JTR Leadership Training and co-owner of Key Fitness Personal Training. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Florida Air National Guard and commander of the 125th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, according to St. Augustine Command. And, according to the bio posted on his company’s page, he is a motivational speaker.

FDLE agents arrested Roberts Thursday morning on 13 counts of possession of child sexual abuse material. He was booked into the Nassau County Jail, where he’s being held on $195,000 bond.

The investigation of Roberts began on Jan. 14, after FDLE agents received multiple CyberTips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tips alerted agents to an online address sharing files depicting possible child sexual abuse material.

Still images and videos discovered included children in sexual situations with adults and other children. Two files were confirmed by NCMEC to include children identified by law enforcement in previous investigations.

Jay Howell, the former executive director for the NCMEC, said it’s unfortunately fairly common now to see images of children come up in multiple investigations.

“The advent of the internet changed this. Now, images are displayed and copied and redisplayed and republished, as they say, many, many times,” Howell said. “And that’s one of the services we provide. We link these things up because then we can often, not always, identify the child and the circumstances that caused them to be photographed or videotaped.”

The arrest affidavit redacts details of files Roberts had from December 2020 to November of 2021. It says he observed many videos of young females and some of them were shot without the girl’s knowledge.

Howard Talenfeld, president of Florida Children’s First, a statewide group advocating for children, said the children involved in these cases are often very vulnerable to being lured in by adults and older children.

“The internet, you know, just serves a very easy way for traffickers to get into the most carefully guarded home and bedroom of a child,” Talenfeld said.

News4JAX went to an address listed for Roberts but no one answered. At Key Fitness, a note had been left saying Roberts’ co-owner would not be there Thursday. We tried calling numbers listed for his family and reached out to the leadership organization he was affiliated with, but we haven’t heard back.

FDL said this investigation is active. If you have information about Roberts that may help investigators, contact Special Agent Bill Bowes at the FDLE Jacksonville Regional Operations Center at 904-360-7100.

You can visit the FDLE website to review tips for keeping your children safe online at: https://www.secureflorida.org/SF/Family-Safety/BPParents.

The Florida National Guard issued a statement Thursday:

“We have been made aware of Lt. Col. Robert’s arrest, and the Florida National Guard is fully cooperating with law enforcement. These allegations do not reflect the values of the Florida National Guard, and such conduct is not condoned nor tolerated in our organization. We cannot provide any further information while this matter remains under investigation.”


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