Federal prosecutors charged former award-winning ABC News producer James Gordon Meek, 53, of Arlington, Virginia, with transporting images depicting the sexual abuse of children.
Reports from the FBI's Washington field office's Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force asserted they had been tipped off by a file hosting service, Dropbox, that the allegedly incriminating materials were present in an account.
After a FBI raid of Meek's residence in April 2022, Meek resigned from ABC News.
The Justice Department revealed in a news release that, according to court documents, devices belonging to Meek held images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct as well as multiple chat conversations where participants expressed enthusiasm for the sexual abuse of children.
Two of these conversations reportedly saw a username associated with Meek share and receive child sexual abuse materials.
Reports from Rolling Stone claim that upon searching Meek's electronic devices, federal prosecutors allegedly discovered pornographic images, depicting the abuse of children as young as toddlers, as well as messages where Meek appeared to confess to prior child abuse.
Through a Snapchat account, “hoolijax,” Meek is alleged to have posed as a young girl to solicit pornographic material. Interviews with one of the children on Meek’s Snapchat further verified this, the publication reported.
Eugene Gorokhov, an attorney for Meek, suggested in a court filing reported by the Washington Post that he had evidence that would prove Meek's actions did not present a danger to the public. The lawyer also asserted that Meek should be considered eligible for bond while his trial is pending.
Last year, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland released a Justice Department policy which stated that in order to seize material from a journalist, authorities had to be able to prove the individual was linked to a foreign power, terrorist organization, kidnapping or crimes against children.
At the time of the FBI raid last year, Meek had been in the process of writing a book about President Joe Biden's Afghanistan pullout. He served as a senior counterterrorism adviser and investigator for the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee and had been involved in the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013.