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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Former City of Hampton Employee Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A former City of Hampton employee pleaded guilty today to distribution of child pornography.

According to court documents, Robert Dobbins, 36, of Hampton, law enforcement received information from a foreign law enforcement agency regarding the user “DEATHLYROSE55” on Website A. In September, the user responded to a foreign law enforcement officer working in an undercover capacity and indicated that he had committed a hands on offense against a child. He also sent the investigator a mega link, which contained child pornography. Law enforcement linked the email address to a residence in Hampton, and determined that Dobbins was previously convicted of receipt and possession of child pornography in January 2005, while he was employed by the U.S. Navy.

During the execution of a federal search warrant, Dobbins, who at the time was a city of Hampton employee, acknowledged accessing child pornography from his city-issued Samsung smartphone using the internet. Dobbins admitted to agents that he cut and pasted photographs from Facebook of his friends’ daughters and re-posted them on his Website A account, “DEATHLYROSE55.”  Dobbins also stated that he “traded” links to child pornography images and videos with other individuals who he met online utilizing Website A.

Dobbins pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography and faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on June 7. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dobbins in prison if convicted. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Michael K. Lamonea, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Norfolk, made the announcement after the guilty plea was accepted by U.S. District Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller. Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan M. Cowles is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources” for more information about Internet safety education.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-129.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Contact: Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated February 15, 2018