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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Orinda Man Pleads Guilty To Transportation Of Child Pornography

SAN FRANCISCO– John D. Warbritton, III pleaded guilty today to transportation of child pornography, announced Acting 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, Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Batdorf.  The guilty plea was accepted by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge.

According to his plea agreement, on March 27, 2016, Warbritton, 64, a former resident of Orinda, Calif., 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).  Pursuant to the plea agreement, Warbritton pleaded guilty to the charge.

Judge Breyer scheduled a sentencing hearing for August 8, 2018, at 10:00 a.m..  The maximum statutory sentence for violating 18 U.S.C. § 2252 is a 20-year prison term.  Additional fines, victim restitution, and a term of supervised release also may be imposed; however, any sentence following conviction 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 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: https://www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form.  Both 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 May 16, 2018