PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A U.S. Navy sailor has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography after investigators say he possessed images and videos of child porn and filed craigslist ads looking for a “young” woman.
Robert Houston Birchett, a Portsmouth resident, pleaded guilty on June 15, according to online court records.
He is set to be sentenced Oct. 23.
Birchett filed personal ads on Craigslist looking for a “young” sexual partner in January 2018. It was flagged as suspected solicitation of a minor.
In May, Homeland Special Investigations served multiple summonses for information relating to those posts. They interviewed him, and he admitted he previously lived at the address the posts were traced back to. He also admitted to posting the ads to Craigslist, court records say.
The investigation into Birchett continued for over a year.
In October 2019, he told investigators he received files from another military member at least a decade ago.
He admitted to using certain search terms that are commonly used for child pornography, according to court papers.
A search of two computers and two hard drives yielded 3,892 thumbnail images, 83 images, and one video of suspected child pornography in system backups from 2017. There were also 52 deleted images, four deleted video fragments and three Windows LNK files of child pornography.
On Nov. 11, Birchett filed a leave request with the USS George H.W. Bush, asking for Dec. 27 to Jan. 10 off. He said he would be on leave at his home in Portsmouth.
Agents filed the affidavit Jan. 13 and requested an arrest warrant for Birchett.