James Gordon Meek, an ABC News producer who gained notoriety last year after he allegedly disappeared following an FBI raid on his Virginia home, has been arrested on charges related to the transportation of child sexual abuse images, according to the Justice Department’s announcement on Wednesday.
The FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force arrested Meek on Tuesday after an investigation led to a court-authorized search of the journalist’s home in April 2022.
During the search, law enforcement discovered multiple devices containing evidence of the transportation of child sexual abuse images, including those depicting toddlers.
Prosectors said the tip came from the cloud storage company Dropbox, who alerted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to the alleged presence of five videos depicting child sex abuse in Meek’s account.
The Justice Department continued its statement, saying “several of Meek’s devices allegedly contained images depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct and multiple chat conversations with users engaged in sexually explicit conversations where the participants expressed enthusiasm for the sexual abuse of children.”
In two of those conversations, a username allegedly associated with Meek, “Pawny 4,” received and sent child sexual abuse material, the press release stated.
When investigators reviewed content on the former ABC producer’s iPhone 8, they allegedly discovered messages between him and someone he allegedly exchanged child sex abuse material with, in which he appeared to confess to sexually abusing a child, reported the Rolling Stone.
“Have you ever raped a toddler girl? It’s amazing,” he allegedly wrote on the messaging platform Kik.
The affadavit alleged that Meek sent a video depicting an infant being brutally raped as they “loudly” cried and screamed. He allegedly sent that same video in a different conversation with another person.
Meek is a father of two daughters, aged 15 and 19, according to the Daily Mail.
After the raid on his Arlington home, he hadn’t been seen until November, when he was spotted at his elderly mother’s townhouse in McLean. In December, federal law enforcement announced they would be prosecuting him, but didn’t make the details of the case public until now.
Speculation surrounding his mysterious disappearance included theories centered around a book he co-authored with retired Green Beret Lt. Col. Scott Mann on Biden’s botched military pull-out of Afghanistan. After the FBI raid and his subsequent “disappearance,” he was wiped from all promotional materials and social media associated with the book, titled “Operation Pineapple Express: The Incredible Story of a Group of Americans Who Undertook One Last Mission and Honored a Promise in Afghanistan.”
If convicted, Meek faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.