Feb. 17, 2010
CIVILIAN DEFENSE CONTRACTOR SENT TO PRISON FOR POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
(HOUSTON) - Michael Anthony Grabar, 44, a Seabrook resident, has been sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography and ordered to register as a sex offender, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison sentenced Grabar to a 50-month prison term to be followed by a life term of supervised release this morning. Grabar has been ordered by the court to register as a sex offender and will be subject to complying with a number of conditions during his supervised release term intended to protect children and the public. The court specifically ordered Grabar to participate in a sex offender treatment program, have no Internet access, not to work or reside within 100 feet of places primarily used by children under 18 - parks, schools, day care centers, etc. - and not to have any contact with children under the age of 18. Failure to comply with the conditions could result in yet another prison term.
The charges against Grabar are the result of an investigation conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) in Iraq and Corpus Christi, Texas. The investigation began on May 2, 2008, when KBR security at Camp Fallujah, a U.S. Marine base in Iraq, was notified about a thumb drive found in laundry at the laundry facility. KBR security officials retrieved the drive and in the process of attempting to identify the owner by reviewing its contents, the security official saw what appeared to be images of child pornography. Documents on the thumb drive identified Michael Grabar as the owner. KBR security conducted a search of Grabar’s quarters and seized computers and additional storage devices, then turned over the items seized and the investigation to NCIS agents on the marine base. Grabar worked as a forklift operator for a subsidiary of KBR at Camp Fallujah in Iraq. After the discovery of the images, Graber was terminated and sent back to the United States.
The thumb drive and seized computer media were sent to the Defense Computer Forensics Lab (DCFL) in the United States for forensic analysis. Analysis found images of child pornography on the thumb drive and on a laptop computer taken from Grabar’s quarters. A total of approximately 500 images and 73 videos containing child pornography were found including images and videos depicting prepubescent and pubescent girls posing in the nude exhibiting their genitalia.
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, Texas.
Grabar has been permitted to remain on bond pending the issuance of a court order to surrender to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future where he will serve his sentence.
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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe.
# # #