By Julie Montanaro
February 10, 2014
Courtesy of Leon County
A Tallahassee man fired from the Department of Agriculture is on his way to prison for stashing pornographic pictures of children on his computer.
Court records show James Spargo entered a no contest plea to 20 felonies and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by 15 more on probation.
He was arrested last spring after agents found the pictures in a folder on his state-issued computer at the Mayo Building downtown.
By Julie Montanaro
April 1, 2014
We must warn you this story has graphic content.
A state worker is accused of stashing pornographic pictures of children in a folder on his computer.
Officers found the pictures on the man's work computer and most of the children, arrest papers say, are toddlers.
Neighbors say officers with guns surrounded this home on Palafox Lane Monday and brought 66 year old James Spargo out in handcuffs.
He is accused of having at least 20 pornographic pictures of children on his computer. According to arrest papers, most of them are of toddlers between the age of one and four years old, some are in sexual scenarios with adults and one, arrest papers say, is an infant.
"The activity we uncovered here was just was just horrible," said Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spokesperson Erin Gillespie. "It was horrifying, it was disgusting, and we gathered all the evidence we could to make sure that this arrest was going to happen."
The pictures were discovered on Spargo's computer at work at the Mayo Building downtown. Spargo is a senior management analyst who has worked with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for 12 years. A spokeswoman there says
officers with the department found the pictures in a folder on his computer.
"Our folks discussed the information they had found," Gillespie said, "they provided him a termination letter, firing him from the department, and arrested him."
Neighbors on this quiet street called Spargo's arrest disturbing.
Spargo has been released on $50,000 bond and been ordered to stay off the internet and away from children under the age of 18.
"I've got girls of my own, and a son - an infant son - so, it's sick," said Chris Watley, whose fellow construction workers saw the officers surrounding Spargo's home. "It's sad."
We are trying to reach Spargo's attorney for a comment. Spargo's personnel file shows before working at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, he worked in the business office of a local church.
A redacted copy of the probable cause affidavit filed with the Leon County Clerk of Courts is attached to this story.
News Release: Leon County Clerk of Courts
A Senior Management Analyst for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is arrested on child porn charges.
Investigators say the images were on his state-issued computer.
65-year-old James Spargo had been with the Department since 2002.
An Agency spokesperson says he was fired yesterday, March 31, 2014, just before his arrest.
Investigators say Spargo had 20 pictures and videos of child pornography, some depicting infant and toddler-aged children.
Agents say Spargo admitted to viewing and sending the files, saying that he knew it was wrong.