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Virgin Islands Man Indicted on Child Pornography Charges

WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in the District of the Virgin Islands returned an indictment charging a St. Thomas man with five counts of child pornography, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Anthony J. Jenkins for the District of the Virgin Islands announced today.

Bradley Douglas Highbarger is charged with two counts of receiving child pornography, two counts of possessing child pornography, and one count of attempting to distribute child pornography. If convicted on all of the charges, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 20 years with a $250,000 fine and the possibility of lifetime supervised release.

On July 20, 2006, investigators initially executed two search warrants on Highbarger’s residence and computer to investigate suspected crimes involving passport fraud and controlled substances. During the review of the computer evidence, investigators also uncovered still pictures and video depicting child pornography. In or about July 2006, the defendant used peer-to-peer file sharing software to download and then possess child pornography. The defendant also configured the software to allow further distribution of the child pornography to any and all users of the peer-to-peer software program around the world.

The defendant was arrested and detained on the drug and passport fraud offenses on July 20, 2006, and has since been detained in federal custody.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Kayla Bakshi of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney St. Clair Theodore of the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of the Virgin Islands. This case is being investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies including the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, Diplomatic Security Service of the U.S. Department of State, and the Postal Inspection Service.

The charges contained in this indictment are allegations only and the defendant is presumed innocent until convicted at trial.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit