An Army major assigned to the national security operation at Fort Gordon, Georgia, pleaded guilty Thursday to production of child pornography, a federal crime punishable by 15 years to life in prison with no parole.
Jason M. Musgrove, 40, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Augusta, admitting criminal conduct committed in December 2019 and a year earlier in Grovetown.
At the time of his December arrest, Musgrove was an integrated threat operations officer with top secret/sensitive compartmentalized information clearance assigned to the Army Cyber Joint Headquarters at Fort Gordon.
Musgrove, who has been in custody since his arrest, will be sentenced at a later date.
He came to the attention of FBI Special Agent Tripp Godbee, assigned to the Child Exploitation Task Force, on Dec. 4 when Godbee saw him join an online group set up to exchange private messages.
Musgrove joined a group specializing in child pornography by sending an image of an underage girl, and a second picture of himself and the girl to verify they were real, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara Lyons said Thursday in outlining the prosecution’s case.
Musgrove also posted a nude photograph of the minor and told other members of the group how he intended to drug and rape her as soon as possible, Lyons said.
Godbee identified the online user as Musgrove and tracked down his location. Musgrove was arrested Dec. 6 and his cellphone and computer were seized. A forensic examination of his devices revealed secretly recorded video of four minors, including the victim of the December exploitation, Lyons said.
Musgrove, now divorced, worked for the Army as a computer network engineer. He earned a master’s degree in information technology from the University of Maryland, he told Chief Judge J. Randal Hall on Thursday.
In addition to the prison term, Musgrove faces a supervised release period of five years to life after he is out of prison. He must also register as a sex offender.
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