GREENBELT, Md.—David Dobbs, 55, of Port Republic, Maryland, pleaded guilty on May 24 to transporting child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to the plea agreement, on two occasions in 2010, Dobbs used a file sharing program to make his files of child pornography available to undercover law enforcement officers, who downloaded a total of 16 videos and five images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. On September 13, 2010, in addition to providing the officer access to the file sharing program, Dobbs engaged in a chat with the undercover officer, telling the officer that he liked girls around seven years old and up.
On April 13, 2012, Dobbs was interviewed in connection with another investigation and admitted to using a file sharing program and that he used a particular screen name when he chatted with the undercover officer. A search warrant was executed at Dobbs residence and law enforcement seized a laptop computer and an SD card that was damaged and appeared to have been pierced with a blunt instrument. Child pornography was recovered from the computer and the SD card, including images of prepubescent children engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
As part of his plea agreement, Dobbs must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Dobbs faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison. As part of his plea agreement, Dobbs and the government will recommend to the Court that a sentence of 90 months in prison, followed by a period of supervised release, is the appropriate disposition of the case. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte has scheduled sentencing for July 25, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.
This case was brought as 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. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristi N. OMalley, who prosecuted the case.
Source: Office of United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein