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ASHEVILLE, N.C. – William Robert Garberding, 62, of Brevard, N.C. was sentenced late yesterday to 120 months in prison for enticing a minor using the Internet, announced R. Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison term imposed, U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger ordered Garberding to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.
U.S. Attorney Murray is joined in making today’s announcement by John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief John Phillip Harris, Jr. of the Brevard Police Department.
According to filed court documents and the sentencing hearing, on November 17, 2015, an individual identified as “BA” reported to law enforcement that she had located some material of concern posted on Garberding’s social media account, who at the time was staying at BA’s residence. According to court records, over the course of the investigation, law enforcement discovered that Garberding was using social media to exchange messages and images of a sexual nature with a 13-year-old girl living in Kentucky. According to court records, Garberding knew the victim was underage, and he had falsely told the minor victim that he was 16-years-old.
Court records show that a forensic analysis of Garberding cellular phone revealed that he had downloaded 55 images of child pornography. In addition, over the course of the investigation, law enforcement discovered multiple messages between Garberding and the minor, in which Garberding solicited the minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct.
Garberding pleaded to one count of enticing a minor via the Internet and is currently in federal custody. In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the Minneapolis Division of the FBI for their assistance with the investigation.
In a separate case, Judge Reidinger also sentenced yesterday James Eugene Patty, Jr., 49, of Maryville, Tennessee, to 108 months in prison on transportation of child pornography charges. Patty was also ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.
According to filed court documents and court proceedings, in September 2016, law enforcement located an online advertisement soliciting a partner to engage in sexual conduct and advertising “the younger the better.” Posing as a 14-year-old female, a law enforcement officer responded to the ad, and proceeded to engage in multiple exchanges with Patty, which were sexual in nature. Court records show that, over the course of the online exchanges, Patty told the “minor” that he was interested in bondage, and sent the “minor” sexual images that depicted bondage.
According to court records, after exchanging multiple online and text messages, Patty was arrested by law enforcement on October 5, 2016, after he drove from Tennessee to Asheville to meet the minor female. At the time of his arrest, Patty was a sheriff deputy with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement found child pornography images in Patty’s cellular phone, including the images he had transmitted to the “minor.”
Patty pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of child pornography. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Boone Police Department and the Asheville Police Department for their investigation.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville prosecuted both cases.