JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis today sentenced Michael Glenn Chope (57, Orange Park) to 60 years in federal prison for using a minor child to produce sexually explicit images. Chope was arrested on April 3, 2019, and was ordered detained throughout the proceedings in this case.
Chope had pleaded guilty on May 28, 2020, to two counts of production of child exploitation materials.
According to court documents, on March 13, 2019, detectives from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office met with Chope in relation to their investigation into a tip received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Chope confirmed that his email address and telephone number were the same ones identified during the investigation and stated that he was sole user of his electronics and computers. He also admitted to viewing and possessing child exploitation materials, including on devices in his residence. Detectives seized several electronic devices from Chope’s home that were later found to contain numerous images produced by Chope. These images depicted Chope’s sexual abuse and molestation of a young child to whom he had access. Further investigation by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations resulted in federal charges against Chope. Following the Clay County Sheriff’s Office’s contact with Chope, he became a fugitive and was later arrested on April 3, 2019, in Rowlett, Texas.
“HSI special agents are committed to finding and putting away those who prey on the innocent,” said HSI Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips. “Working alongside our law enforcement partners, we will do everything we can to protect children by stopping child predators like this and putting them behind bars for the rest of their lives.”
This case was investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ashley Washington and Kelly Karase.
This 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.