Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the return of an indictment charging Michael Glenn Chope, (55, Orange Park) with four counts of production of child pornography. If convicted, Chope faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison for each count. Chope has been ordered detained pending trial.
According to court documents, on March 13, 2019, detectives from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office met with Chope regarding the investigation into a cyber-tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children related to child pornography. Chope confirmed his email address and telephone number were the same ones identified during the investigation and stated he was the only one to use his electronics and computers. Chope also admitted to viewing and possessing child pornography, including on several devices in his home. Detectives seized multiple electronic devices from Chope’s home and analyzed their contents. The detectives located numerous images produced by Chope depicting him sexually abusing and exploiting a child to whom he had access. Following Clay County Sheriff’s Office’s contact with Chope, he fled the state. Chope was arrested on April 3, 2019, in Rowlett, Texas.
Chope was originally charged by federal complaint for a single count of production of child pornography. He was later indicted for four counts of production of child pornography that had been created between approximately May 2015 and February 2018.
An indictment 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.
This case was investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ashley Washington and Kelly Karase.
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.