JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Former Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Corrections Officer Leon Brooks Sr. was arraigned in Federal Court Thursday on charges of possession of child pornography.
Dressed in a striped polo, with his court-ordered ankle bracelet emitting a frequent low-battery beep, Brooks pleaded not guilty to all four counts against him.
Brooks, 39, waived a full reading of the indictment -- which contains graphic language describing the videos he is accused of possessing -- but Assistant U.S. Attorney Diidri Robinson detailed his potential punishment. If convicted of all four counts against him, Brooks faces 75 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine.
Prior to his indictment, Brooks worked for JSO for 13 years. He resigned Nov. 1 with a medical disability retirement. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, his offenses occurred between June 19, 2012, and May 20, 2013.
Brooks' JSO personnel file shows several complaints against him, but only two that were labeled "sustained" -- one in 2002 for "incompetency" and one in 2009 for "unbecoming conduct".
Brooks' wife, who is also his designated third party custodian during his release, was the only spectator in court today. His trial date was set for March 3, but could be pushed back.
Attorney Thomas Bell, Brooks' court appointed attorney, told Magistrate Judge James Klindt that his initial review of discovery in the case showed it to be "extraordinarily technical ... even more so than many cases we see." He suggested an April trial date might be more reasonable.
Brooks is the second corrections officer currently facing federal charges. Harold Bush Walbey III, a 20-year JSO veteran, was charged in December with filing false tax returns using the stolen identities of the inmates he was supervising.
First Coast News