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Man with ties to Tri-Cities arrested in Florida on pornography, solicitation charges

Becky Campbell • Updated Jan 11, 2019 at 9:26 PM

Federal agents on a task force fighting child exploitation arrested a Louisiana man with ties to Johnson City Monday in Florida, but the investigation into who might have helped him stay on the run continues.

Jason Matthew Zeller, 40, who goes by his middle name, lives in Metairie, Louisiana. The FBI New Orleans Child Exploitation Field Office investigation led authorities there to charge him with:

• Two counts of pornography involving juveniles under age 13;

• Two counts of computer-aided solicitation of a minor; and

• One count of unlawful use of a social networking website.

In addition to those charges, Zeller now has charges in Florida related to child porn and federal failure to report as a sex offender.

Before Zeller could be arrested, he fled from Louisiana and federal authorities started looking for him, according to Brian W. Fair, senior inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service Eastern District of Louisiana and the USMS Fugitive Task Force-New Orleans. Fair said investigators believed Zeller had help from friends and relatives in the Tri-Cities to elude arrest.

“He was receiving aid/support from family/associates in (the Tri-Cities) where his family lives during his time on the run. FBI and USMS are still investigating but it is possible that persons in Tennessee could be charged with making false statements to federal agents and harboring a fugitive.”

Fair did not release further details about Zeller’s arrest or the ongoing investigation that could lead to people in Northeast Tennessee being charged.

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