Ponte Vedra resident Jeremy Scott Clark, 44, was arrested on Thursday, March 8 and charged by federal criminal complaint with distributing child pornography, according to the FBI.
Clark, a teacher at First Coast High School in Jacksonville and resident of 1600 Merroway Lane in the Walden Chase neighborhood, faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years, up to 20 years in federal prison and a potential lifetime of supervision. Clark has been detained pending a hearing scheduled for March 13 in Jacksonville.
According to the criminal complaint, on Feb. 22, an individual using the screen name “LLCoolJack1973” responded to a message on an internet bulletin board frequented by individuals with a sexual interest in children. This message had been posted by an undercover FBI agent. The user (LLCoolJack1973) later identified as Jeremy Scott Clark, began an online conversation with the undercover FBI agent.
After some conversation about sexual activity with children, the user sent an image of an adult male on a bed exposing himself and later sent a link to the FBI agent that contained images of prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Further investigation, said the FBI, revealed that the internet protocol address used by “LLCoolJack1973” traced back to Clark’s residence in Ponte Vedra, and that Clark was a teacher at First Coast High.
On March 8, FBI agents and other law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at Clark’s residence and seized several items of computer media and at least one Apple iPhone. Through interviews, agents were able to confirm that the picture of the naked male sent to the undercover FBI agent depicted Clark on his bed, in a bedroom at his residence. Clark was placed under arrest.
According to the FBI, a criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
The FBI and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office were responsible for investigating this case. Anyone with information regarding this investigation should contact the FBI Jacksonville office at (904) 248-7000. Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown is prosecuting this case, which is a 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 on Project Safe Childhood, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information on internet safety education, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the “resources” tab.