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Oct. 15, 2009

CIVILIAN DEFENSE CONTRACTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

(HOUSTON) - Michael Anthony Grabar, 44, of Seabrook, Texas, has been convicted of possessing child pornography after pleaded guilty to the federal felony charge, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Grabar appeared before United States District Court Judge Keith Ellison this morning to enter his guilty plea. He now faces a maximum 10-year-term of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Grabar also faces a maximum of life on supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the use of the Internet. Grabar has been permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing set for Jan. 13, 2010.
 
The charges against Grabar are the result of an investigation conducted by Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Iraq and Corpus Christi, Texas, which proved that on May 2, 2008, KBR security at Camp Fallujah - a U.S. Marine base in Iraq - was notified about a thumb drive containing images of child pornography found at the laundry facility which was determined to belong to Graber. KBR security then conducted a search of Grabar’s quarters and seized computers and additional storage devices. KBR security then turned the investigation and seized items over to NCIS special agents stationed at the marine base. The seized computer media was sent to the Defense Computer Forensics Lab (DCFL) in the United States for analysis resulting in the discovery of approximately 500 images and 73 videos of child pornography on the thumb drive and on the laptop computer taken from Grabar’s quarters.

At the time, Grabar worked as a forklift operator for a subsidiary of KBR at Camp Fallujah in Iraq. After discovery of the images, Graber was terminated and sent back to the United States. In situations where a civilian is employed by or accompanying the Armed Forces outside the United States and commits what would be a federal crime, federal law allows for the prosecution of that individual in the district where he last lived. At the time Grabar left for Iraq, he was living in Seabrook.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe.

 

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