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Press Release

Bay Area Doctor Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison For Transportation Of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO – John D. Warbritton, III was sentenced today to 84 months in prison for transportation of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Chris Nielsen, and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Acting Special Agent in Charge Tara Sullivan.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. Senior District Judge.

Warbritton, 64, a former resident of Orinda, Calif., and an orthopedic surgeon, pleaded guilty to the charge on May 16, 2018.  According to his plea agreement, on March 27, 2016, Warbritton traveled from Bangkok, Thailand, to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) with electronic devices containing child pornography.  Specifically, Warbritton was traveling with a laptop and a cellular telephone, both of which contained images depicting children under the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The plea agreement describes some of the images that were on the devices, including depictions of grown men engaged in sexual acts with girls under the age of 12.  Warbritton stipulated that between 150 and 300 images of child pornography were on his electronic devices as he traveled to SFO.

A federal grand jury indicted Warbritton on October 13, 2016, charging him with one count of transportation  of child pornography and access with intent to view child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a) and (b).  Warbritton pleaded guilty to the charge.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Breyer also ordered Warbritton to serve a seven-year term of supervised release to begin after the prison term ends.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheila Armbrust is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Ana Guerra.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by HSI, DEA, and IRS-CI.  

If members of the public have any information relevant to this investigation or to suspected child predators or suspicious activity, they should contact Homeland Security Investigations through the toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or complete the online tip form at:  These tip lines are staffed around the clock by investigators.  Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may also be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

Updated September 5, 2018