Naval Commander Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material and Retaining Classified National Defense Information
A former journalist pleaded guilty today to transportation and possession of child sexual abuse material.
According to court documents, while visiting South Carolina in February 2020, James Gordon Meek, 53, of Arlington, Virginia, used an online messaging platform on his iPhone to send and receive images and videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and to discuss his sexual interest in children. Some of the images and videos depicted prepubescent minors and minors under the age of 12, including an infant being raped. Meek brought the iPhone containing the child sexual abuse material back with him when he returned to Virginia.
Meek is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 29. He faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Assistant Director in Charge David Sundberg of the FBI Washington Field Office made the announcement.
The FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force is investigating the case. The task force is composed of FBI agents, along with other federal agents and detectives from northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. The task force is charged with investigating and bringing federal charges against individuals engaged in the exploitation of children and those engaged in human trafficking. Valuable assistance was provided by the Arlington County Police Department.
Trial Attorney Whitney Kramer of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Zoe Bedell for the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the 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.justice.gov/psc.