Convicted sex offender pleads guilty to federal charge

Booking photo of Nicodemus Jefferson

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 40-year-old Jacksonville man has pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender after traveling to Florida from Maryland, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Nicodemus Darnell Jefferson faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not yet been set. Jefferson has been in custody since his arrest on Sept. 30, 2014.  

According to court documents, in December 1998, Jefferson was convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in Charleston County, South Carolina. After his conviction, he traveled from Maryland to Florida, where he has since resided. Jefferson failed to register as a sex offender in Florida as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

On Sept. 30, 2014, Jefferson was arrested at his Jacksonville residence and acknowledged that he had been living there since June 2014. He had obtained a Florida identification card on Aug. 4, 2014, that referenced a different Jacksonville address as his residence. 

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act is part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The Adam Walsh Act provides for the use of federal law enforcement resources, including the United States Marshals Service, to assist state and local authorities in locating and apprehending non-compliant sex offenders.

This case is another brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources." 

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