Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging William Rand Paige, Jr. (50, Fernandina Beach) with using his cellphone and the internet to attempt to entice a 11-year-old child to engage in sexual activity. If convicted, Paige faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison as well as a potential lifetime term of supervised release. Paige was arrested on December 18, 2023. On December 21, 2023, he was arraigned in federal court and ordered detained pending trial.
According to court documents, on November 29, 2023, an undercover FBI agent in Jacksonville was conducting an online undercover operation to identify individuals who were seeking to meet and engage in sexual activity with children. Posing as a person with access to an 11-year-old child, the undercover agent was online in a particular online social messaging app and was contacted by an individual with the username “ah..904,” subsequently identified as Paige. Between November 29 and December 11, 2023, in a series of online conversations on the app and emails, Paige discussed his desire to meet the “child” for sexual activity. Paige also sent the undercover agent several videos depicting the sexual abuse of young children.
On December 18, 2023, FBI agents executed a federal search warrant at Paige’s residence. On that same day, Paige was arrested.
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 Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 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 child victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.