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NEWBERRY ‒ Michael Duane Johnson, Jr., 30, was arrested Tuesday, May 31, after investigators charged him with possessing and transmitting a pornographic image depicting a child.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Office investigators, acting on a CyberTip from 2021 about child pornography transmitted on the social media platform MocoSpace, traced an account to an address in Newberry. Pictures linked with the account reportedly matched Johnson, who lived at the Newberry address.

Contact was made with Johnson, who was not detained at the time and agreed to speak with the investigator. He reportedly said he used MocoSpace at one point “to speak with other males his age,” but he had not used it in some time, and he “did not have intent to exploit children on the site.”

The investigator asked to search Johnson’s cell phone and Johnson provided written permission. The investigator reportedly found an image of a nude 7-9-year-old girl in a sexual position in the “Recently Deleted” folder on the phone. Johnson was then arrested.

Post Miranda, Johnson reportedly admitted to downloading the image with the intent to send it to other online users. He reportedly denied knowing the child in the image was a minor, but when the investigator asked whether his grandmother would agree it was an adult, he said he didn’t think so.

Johnson also reportedly said the investigator might find more photos, including “teenage boys,” on the phone. He reportedly said he did not use the image for sexual gratification, but he could not explain why he had it.

Johnson has been charged with possession and transmission of child photography. A further search of the phone may result in more charges. He is currently being held in the Alachua County Jail on $300,000 bond.

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Email cwalker@

alachuatoday.com