Jared Fogle, known around the world as “the Subway Guy,” was once interviewed by a local newspaper about how he had lost significant amounts of weight by eating only Subway sandwiches, which are purportedly a low-calorie and healthy alternative to fast food. Subway learned of his story and invited him to do an advertising campaign for the food chain. The advertisement worked so well that he became the official mascot for the brand, appearing in countless commercials over the years. In each commercial, he held up his old 62-inch jeans to his body to demonstrate how Subway had helped him lose weight. Thanks to his partnership with Subway, Fogle became a millionaire and began his own anti-obesity foundation known as the Jared Foundation.
The Jared Fogle ordeal began in April of 2015 when the director of his foundation was arrested for possession of child pornography. At first, Subway issued a statement that Fogle was in no way connected to the director’s arrest and that he was cooperating fully with authorities. In July of 2015, the FBI raided Fogle’s mansion, removing a cache of computers and equipment. Later that same day, Subway stated that it had terminated its contract with Fogle. Rumors spread that Fogle was involved in the child pornography sting.
In August of 2015, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Fogle would plead guilty to distribution and possession of child pornography and traveling to meet a minor. Fogle had allegedly driven to New York City multiple times in order to pay for sex with a minor. In addition, he paid escort services to provide him with underage prostitutes. Fogle and the director apparently established a child pornography ring, sharing nude photos of kids aging 6 years old and up.
As part of the plea deal, Fogle will be paying $100,000 restitution to each individual victim. Jared was also sentenced to 15 years and 8 months in federal prison. In addition to spending the next 15 years of his life in prison and paying over $1 million in restitution, Fogle has already lost his job as Subway spokesman and will have to find a new way to earn a living when he is released.
Fogle’s biggest downfall came when the FBI searched his home. In Florida child pornography cases, the vast majority of evidence comes from information electronically stored, such as on one’s camera or cell phone, on a computer or hard drive, or even in the cloud. In order to access these photos, Fort Walton Beach police officers need either (1) consent or (2) a search warrant.
Consent is problematic. Many individuals consent to searches because they are either too scared to say no to the police or because they believe the police will go easier on them because they’re being cooperative. This is not the case. Do not consent to a search without first consulting with a lawyer. If you consent, you may lose the ability to make crucial constitutional arguments later in your case.
Search warrants are predicated on probable cause. If the Fort Walton Beach cops have probable cause to believe child pornography will be found in your home, they will need to present the basis of this probable cause to a judge. Usually, officers will provide an affidavit and request for search warrant. The affidavit will detail the investigation, what they expect to find, where they expect to find it, and why they expect to find it there. If a judge agrees there is probable cause, the judge will sign the warrant. Only when this warrant is signed can officers enter your home without your permission to search for evidence. There are exceptions to this search that will be discussed in depth in a later post.
If you are being investigated for child pornography, contact Board-Certified Specialist Stephen G. Cobb before cooperating with the Fort Walton Beach police. Stephen G. Cobb, a talented and accomplished Fort Walton Beach criminal defense attorney, provides free consultations to Okaloosa County residents. Call today.
Cobb Criminal Defense Law Firm1992 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 101-BFort Walton Beach, FL 32547