PINELLAS PARK, Fla. -- A local man who fled to Florida to evade alleged child pornography charges was arraigned Monday in federal court. It is unclear when he will be brought back to the Albany area to face his charges which come with a minimum of 15 years in prison.
Jesse Sawyer, Jr., 25, of 131 Sherman Ave., was purportedly responsible for the production of child pornography involving two victims under five years old and one 6-year-old. He was arraigned in federal court in Tampa. His exact charges were not immediately available.
Last week, the Pinellas Park Police Department received information from the Troy Police that Sawyer was at 8900 US 19 and had an active warrant issued by the FBI.
"We went to this location and made contact with Sawyer, who was cooperative with our investigation. We did learn that there was a warrant in the system for the arrest of Sawyer and we initiated confirmation procedures with the FBI," said Pinellas Park PIO Sgt. Adam Geissenberger. He said Sawyer was detailed pending warrant confirmation but he was not in custody. The warrant was issued on March 18.
Troy Police assisted with the investigation but said that the case is now being overseen by the FBI, said Capt. John Cooney. He said Sawyer, locally, would face class B felonies but on the federal level he could face 15 to 30 years.
"The FBI proceeded appropriately," continued Cooney. "Federal guidelines are more strict. The goal is to keep our children safe and put any guilty parties in jail for as long as possible."
Sawyer would face any federal charges at the U.S. court in Albany. It is unclear when that case will be heard.