MT. VERNON, IL — Bail was set at $200,000 for a 26-year-old Mt. Vernon man charged Wednesday in Jefferson County Court with multiple child pornography offenses. Jacob Higgins was charged with 10 Class 2 felonies for possession of child pornography for offenses apparently dating back to August 2020.Jacob Higgins (Source: JCSO)
According to Detective Bobby Wallace with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, they received a tip through the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force of suspected child pornography activity in the Jefferson County area. The initial investigation confirmed criminal activity, a suspect, and the involved internet accounts. Search warrants were obtained to access suspected accounts, which led to additional evidence and an additional search warrant for the residence at 813 S. 25th Street in Mt. Vernon. The warrant was served on May 23rd and evidence was collected at the residence. Det. Wallace says 10 separate files of child pornography were discovered in a dropbox account associated with Higgins’ cell phone.
Judge Jo Beth Weber advised Higgins Wednesday of the charges, the possible penalties and the possibility for enhanced or extended-term sentencing if he’s found guilty. Judge Weber appointed a public defender to represent Higgins in the case after the defendant advised the court he lost his job because of the case.
He’s next scheduled to appear in the case via Zoom on June 16 for a preliminary hearing and a first appearance with his court-appointed attorney.