A former ABC News producer who mysteriously resigned last April and went incommunicado for several weeks has been charged with transporting child abuse materials.
James Gordon Meek, the former producer, was targeted by the FBI Washington Field Office's Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force after the agency received a tip that child abuse materials were allegedly found in a Dropbox linked to username associated with Mr Meek.
The FBI searched Mr Meek's residence on 27 April, 2021, during which they seized an iPhone as well as an external hard drive allegedly containing hundreds of images of children engaged in sexual acts, according to the unsealed court documents.
Mr Meek is also accused of participating in group chats in which child abuse materials were traded between users.
The chats include discussion between a user police allege is Mr Meek and another individual in which they discuss a desire to abuse toddlers and trade graphic and disturbing videos of child sex abuse, including the abuse of an infant.
Mr Meek was arrested on Tuesday.
Investigators allegedly found that Mr Meek had also directly communicated with a minor and pressured them for sexually explicit photos, according to the affidavit.
"Review of the electronic devices seized during the search warrant has also resulted in significant evidence that MEEK has engaged directly, and attempted to engage, with minors online on platforms and applications other than Snapchat," the affidavit said.
In addition the hard drive and phone, investigators also found a laptop at his residence that allegedly contained approximately 90 images and videos of child abuse material, according to the affidavit.
Shortly after the raid, Mr Meek resigned and disappeared from public life. Initial reports suggested he had “disappeared” but it was later determined he had been in contact with some individuals but was keeping a low profile and living with family.
He reportedly told ABC News he was leaving for “personal reasons” and told co-workers that he wanted to “save colleagues and the company embarrassment,” according to a report from The Daily Beast.
The Independent has reached out to Mr Meeks' attorney for comment.
A spokesperson for ABC News has declined to comment on the criminal complaint, according to ABC News.
Mr Meeks will make his initial court appearance on Wednesday before a magistrate judge in Alexandria, Virginia. He has not entered a plea in his case as of this time.