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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Supervisor at Sunstar Paramedics Arrested in Federal Investigation Involving Production of Child Pornography

Supervisor at Sunstar Paramedics Arrested in Federal Investigation Involving Production of Child Pornography

James Lockhart, age 30 of Bradenton, was arrested following an investigation by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), an investigative branch of the United States Department of Homeland Security.

This investigation, code named “Operation Test Pilot,” is an attempt to infiltrate high-level child pornography rings/websites and target the administrators of said websites.  Multiple individuals, believed to be residing across the United States and abroad on various dark-web forums dedicated to the sexual abuse of children.

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The investigation began to focus on an individual using the screen names, “StrangeWood” and “HardWood.”  In or about November 2017, the user StrangeWood posted an extreme sexual abuse video, 7 minutes and 58 seconds long, of a child who appeared under the age of 2.

The Federal criminal complaint describes in detail the horrific sexual violation of the child in every way imaginable. Even his comments on the forum were too graphic and descriptive to post for purposes of this article.

Through a variety of investigative techniques, members of law enforcement were able to connect his screen names to a particular IP address at his home.

On October 4, 2018, a federal search warrant was executed at his home in Bradenton, Florida.

Investigators produced a sanitized picture of the toddler from the previously discussed video.  From that photo, an individual at the home was able to identify the toddler as one of Lockhart’s family members.  In addition, further investigative techniques helped identify the hand in the video as that of James Lockhart.

Officers also discovered a ledger in the home and the enclosed writing was similar to those seen in his custom videos which included his screen name.  A computer hard drive inside the residence revealed multiple images of children performing a variety of sexually exploitative activities.

Lockhart was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on October 5, 2018 and is currently being held charges of production and possession of children pornography.  The case will be tried in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Prior to his arrest, Lockhart was employed as a paramedic and supervisor for Sunstar Paramedics.  His on-line presence shows he began his employment with Sunstar Paramedics in January 2012.

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