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Press Release

Oakland Resident Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Child Pornography

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

OAKLAND – Lawrence Ham pleaded guilty in federal court in Oakland today to possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin.

In pleading guilty, Ham, 52, of Oakland, admitted that between June 26, 2015, and July 14, 2015, he possessed child pornography images on his computer and in print.  He further admitted that the images included depictions of prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct involving sadistic or masochistic abuse of the victims. 

As described in a Complaint filed February 16, 2016, in June of 2015, a computer repairman was working on Ham’s computer and viewed images of children in various states of undress on the computer.  The repairman contacted the Concord Police Department and the matter was referred to the Oakland Police Department.  On July 14, 2015, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and Oakland Police Department executed a search warrant at Ham’s apartment and found computer-based and printed images of child pornography. 

On March 31, 2016, Ham was charged by an Information with one count of possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4).  Under the plea agreement, Ham pled guilty to the sole count in the Information.

Ham is currently being held in the custody of the United States Marshal.  

Ham’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 28, 2016, before the Honorable Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, U.S. District Judge, in Oakland.  The statutory penalties for a conviction of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4) is ten years’ imprisonment and $250,000.  A person convicted of § 2252(a)(4) following a prior conviction for possession of child pornography faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years; a maximum prison sentence of 20 years; a fine of $250,000; and restitution, if appropriate.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Marie Barton is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Trina Khadoo.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by ICE HIS.

Updated September 11, 2017

Violent Crime