An Army major assigned to the service’s cyber joint headquarters at Fort Gordon, Georgia, pleaded guilty Thursday to producing child pornography, according to court records.
Maj. Jason M. Musgrove, an integrated threat operations officer with a top secret security clearance, was arrested in December for using a hidden camera to film juvenile victims in the bathroom of his home. He later shared the material on a mobile message app and detailed plans to drug and rape one of the victims, prompting FBI action, according to court filings.
Musgrove faces a possible penalty of up to 30 years in prison along with substantial fines and restitution to victims in the case, followed by a period of supervised release, according to the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. There is no parole available in the federal system.
Musgrove distributed pictures of a minor in a private online chat room that was being monitored by an FBI child exploitation task force, according to unsealed court documents. He also repeatedly sent sexual messages concerning minors and discussed plans to drug a girl by mixing cherry NyQuil into a Dr. Pepper to have sex with her, the documents added.
The statements prompted an FBI agent monitoring the chat to obtain the user’s account information from Kik — the mobile messaging app he was using. Law enforcement obtained a computer IP address and traced it to Musgrove’s home near Augusta.
“The production of child pornography is one of the most horrendous crimes we deal with in our society. It is even more concerning when the crime is allegedly committed by a member of our armed forces who is sworn to protect the United States,” said Chris Hacker, the special agent in charge of the FBI Atlanta field office.
Musgrove has been held in the custody of U.S. marshals at the Lincoln County Jail since his arrest.
Maj. Kip Patterson, a Cyber Command spokesman, did not immediately return a request for comment regarding Musgrove’s current military status. Patterson previously said the Army was cooperating with civilian authorities in their investigation.
Musgrove’s security clearance was suspended following his arrest and Patterson said his command would take “standard Army administrative actions.”
Kyle Rempfer was an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.