The Defendant Admitted that He Also Distributed the Child Pornography He Produced on the Dark Web
Greenbelt, Maryland – Brian Anthony Gilbert, age 33, of District Heights, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to federal charges for two counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, in connection with his sexual abuse of two minor children.
The plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr.; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Malik Aziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
“Brian Gilbert is a predator who sexually abused young children for his personal gain,” said Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner. “This conduct is reprehensible and criminal, and tragically Gilbert’s crimes will impact these vulnerable victims for the rest of their lives. This case sends a clear message that we will bring to justice those who victimize innocent children.”
According to his guilty plea, in August 2020, Gilbert uploaded and advertised at least two video files of child pornography depicting an approximately seven-year-old female victim (Victim 1) on an online bulletin board dedicated to child pornography, which was hosted over the Tor network, a computer network that is designed specifically to facilitate anonymous communication over the Internet. The videos were approximately 10 minutes and 15 minutes in length and depicted sexual acts between Gilbert and Victim 1. In Gilbert’s posts on the online bulletin board, Gilbert admits to having produced both videos.
As detailed in his plea agreement, on September 11, 2020, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Gilbert’s residence. Gilbert was in the residence at the time. Gilbert waived his rights and agreed to speak to law enforcement. Gilbert advised law enforcement that approximately five times between January 2019 and August 2020, Gilbert video recorded sexual acts between himself and Victim 1 in Gilbert’s bedroom and at Victim 1’s residence. He also stated that he had video recorded sexual acts between himself and another victim, who was approximately two-years old (“Victim 2”) at the time. Gilbert told law enforcement that he distributed the child sex abuse material that he produced on the Tor network.
During the execution of the search warrant, law enforcement also seized a number of electronic devices from Gilbert’s bedroom. A subsequent forensic analysis of Gilbert’s electronic devices revealed over 2,000 files depicting child pornography. Among those files were six videos of Gilbert engaging in sexual acts with Victim 1 and Victim 2 in Gilbert’s bedroom or in Victim 1’s residence. Some of the child pornography located on Gilbert’s devices included prepubescent children under the age of 12 as well as sadistic or masochistic conduct, including the use of instruments or tools on children, and sexual acts between adults and children.
Gilbert faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison for each of the two counts of production of child pornography; and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography. U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm has scheduled sentencing for December 8, 2021 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 Attorney’s 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.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "Resources" tab on the left of the page.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner and Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite commended the FBI and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner and Mr. Polite thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph R. Baldwin and Trial Attorneys Jessica Urban and Alicia Bove from the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section who are prosecuting federal case.