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Computer Technician Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Downloading Child Pornography at Work

U.S. Attorney’s Office March 20, 2014
  • Northern District of California (415) 436-7200

OAKLAND—David Busby was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for downloading and viewing child pornography, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations at the U.S. Department of Energy John R. Hartman, and FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson.

On Sept. 19, 2013, after a three-day trial, a jury convicted Busby of possessing and accessing with the intent to view child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B) and (b)(2). Evidence at trial showed that on April 20, 2010, a network security analyst detected Internet traffic indicative of child pornography on the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) computer network. The Internet traffic was isolated to a single laptop computer being used by Busby.

Busby, a registered sex offender based on a prior conviction, was a computer support employee at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL), and he worked part-time at NERSC, which is affiliated with LBL. Busby made two statements to law enforcement officers shortly after the April 20, 2010 incident, ultimately admitting that he did download child pornography to two of his work computers. Busby said he would store the child pornography for a period of time and then delete the images. A forensic examination of two of Busby’s computers recovered approximately 1,400 images of child pornography that had been deleted. At trial, Busby’s defense claimed that he accidentally downloaded the child pornography onto his computers while trying to access legal child modeling sites.

Busby, 61, of Richmond, was indicted by a federal grand jury in a superseding indictment on July 9, 2013. Busby was remanded into custody following his conviction at trial. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Saundra B. Armstrong, United States District Court Judge. Judge Armstrong also sentenced the defendant to a 10-year period of supervised release.

Brian C. Lewis is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting this case with the assistance of Janice Pagsanjan and Patty Lau. This prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Department of Energy Office of Inspector General, University of California Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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