James Gordon Meek, a former producer for ABC News, pleaded guilty Friday to transportation and possession of child pornography.
The Department of Justice, which announced the plea deal, said Meek will be sentenced on Sept. 29. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 40 years.
Court documents said that during a 2020 trip to South Carolina, Meek used an online messaging platform on his iPhone to send and receive images and videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Investigators also found texts in which he discussed his sexual interest in children.
Meek brought the iPhone containing the material back with him when he returned to Virginia, where he lives.
Some of the images and videos depicted prepubescent minors and minors under the age of 12, including an infant being raped.
Meek, 55, quit ABC News on April 27, 2022, the day the FBI raided his home. He was arrested on Feb. 1 after an investigation by the bureau’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force.
Meek’s name was also removed from a book he co-authored that was published last summer by Simon & Schuster about Operation Pineapple Express, a secret mission in which a group of U.S. military veterans rescued hundreds of allied operatives from Afghanistan.
Meek specialized in covering national security since the late 1990s. He joined ABC News in 2013 after serving two years as a senior counterterrorism advisor and investigator for the House Committee on Homeland Security.