Jacksonville Jumbotron Hacker And Child Molester Receives 220 Year Sentence

U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced Samuel Arthur Thompson, aged 53 and residing in St. Augustine, to 220 years in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Thompson faced charges related to producing, receiving, and possessing child sex abuse material (CSAM), among other offenses. These included producing CSAM while required to register as a sex offender, violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), and sending unauthorized damaging commands to a protected computer. Additionally, Thompson was found guilty of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The court has also ordered the forfeiture of computers and a firearm used in the crimes. Thompson’s conviction stemmed from a federal jury verdict on November 17, 2023.

According to court documents and trial evidence, Thompson was previously convicted of sodomizing a 14-year-old male child in Alabama in 1998, requiring him to register as a sex offender and report international travel. Despite this obligation, he failed to report his status when he was hired as a contractor by the Jacksonville Jaguars around 2013. Upon discovering his conviction, the Jaguars chose not to renew his contract in January 2018.

Before his contract ended in March 2018, Thompson installed remote access software on a server in the Jaguars’ server room. He then remotely accessed computers controlling the team’s video boards during NFL games in 2018, causing repeated malfunctions. The Jaguars detected this malicious activity and, through an investigation, traced it to Thompson’s residence.

Subsequent searches at Thompson’s home revealed evidence of his involvement in child sexual exploitation, including thousands of CSAM images and videos on his personal devices. Interviews with children known to Thompson disclosed instances of molestation and exposure to explicit material. Thompson’s illegal activities extended to his international travel, as he failed to report his status as a sex offender during a trip to The Bahamas in July 2019 and received CSAM via the dark web on the same day.

Fleeing to the Philippines in July 2019, Thompson continued evading authorities. However, his passport was revoked, leading to his deportation and subsequent arrest by the FBI upon returning to the United States in January 2020.

FBI Jacksonville’s Acting Special Agent in Charge, Coult Markovsky, emphasized the significance of the investigation in bringing justice to Thompson’s victims and holding him accountable for his actions. The case involved multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.

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