James Gordon Meek, a former ABC News producer, pleaded guilty to transporting and possessing child pornography on Friday.
The Justice Department, which announced the plea deal, said Meek would be sentenced Sept. 29. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 40 years.
According to court documents, during a 2020 trip to South Carolina, Meek used an online messaging platform on his iPhone to send and receive images and videos depicting sexually explicit behavior by minors. Investigators also found texts in which he discussed his sexual interest in children.
Meek brought the iPhone with the footage when he returned to Virginia, where he lives.
Some of the images and videos showed prepubescent minors and minors under the age of 12, including the rape of an infant.
Meek, 55, left ABC News on April 27, 2022, the day the FBI searched his home. He was arrested on February 1 following an investigation by the Bureau’s Child Exploitation and Trafficking Task Force.
Meek’s name was also removed from a book he co-authored, published by Simon & Schuster last summer, about Operation Pineapple Express, a secret mission in which a group of US military veterans rescued hundreds of Allied agents from Afghanistan.
Meek has specialized in national security reporting since the late 1990s. He joined ABC News in 2013 after serving two years as a senior counterterrorism adviser and investigator for the House Homeland Security Committee.