Florida man hit with massive number of charges over ‘largest’ child sex abuse image stash detectives ‘have ever seen’

A Florida man has been hit with a massive number of charges over the “largest” child sex abuse image stash that detectives say they “have ever seen”.

Johnathan Jhovanni Hernandez, 23, was arrested on 29 December and charged with being in possession of child sex abuse images after a months-long investigation, the New York Post reported.

Detectives started the investigation after they got a tip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

“At that time, we told you the investigation was just getting started and there would likely be more charges,” the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “What we should have said was there would likely be A LOT more charges — like more than anyone in our county … ever.”

Mr Hernandez was detained at his home in Avon Park in central Florida, where police seized 15 electronic devices. The suspect was then released on bond. While he was out, detectives discovered a large amount of evidence, prompting the 23-year-old to be charged with another 1,182 counts of possession of child sex abuse images. The office of the sheriff added that he was also charged with four counts of possession of bestiality images.

He was arrested for a second time on Tuesday, according to police.

“There is no telling how many charges he could face if detectives went through all the devices,” the office of the sheriff added.

Johnathan Jhovanni Hernandez, 23, was arrested on 29 December (Highlands County Sheriff’s Office)
Johnathan Jhovanni Hernandez, 23, was arrested on 29 December (Highlands County Sheriff’s Office)

“Detectives say Hernandez’s collection of child porn is the largest they have ever seen. As it stands now, Hernandez is being held on a bond of just over $2.4 million and has enough charges to possibly land him life in prison,” the office wrote.

It’s unclear if Mr Hernandez has retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.