Former Clay County High School Teacher Arrested And Charged With Distribution Of Child Pornography
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that Christopher Shawn Potter (age 49, Jacksonville) has been arrested and charged by criminal complaint with distributing child pornography. Potter faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, and up to 20 years in federal prison. He had been detained pending a hearing on September 26, 2018.
According to the complaint, in February 2018, Potter, utilizing the username “Catsfan1987” and the screenname “Mr. Fireball,” responded to a notice posted online by an undercover officer with the Orange Park Police Department who was using the persona of a 14-year-old child. Potter engaged in online conversations with the undercover officer during which Potter requested photos of the “child” and discussed meeting the “child” for sex. Potter sent the undercover officer a video clip depicting a young child being sexually abused and a video of Potter performing a sexual act.
On September 20, 2018, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, along with other law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Potter’s home and seized several computer devices and smart phones. Potter told the agents that he had worked as a teacher at Clay High School in Green Cove Springs from 2016-2017, and that he was a teacher at Orange Park High School from 1997-2004.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Orange Park Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, and the Palatka Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
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.
It is another case 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 the 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.justice.gov/psc.
WE WANT TO THANK ALL THE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE DEDICATED THEIR LIVES TO KEEPING OUR COUNTRY SAFE.