A former Long Beach police officer pleaded guilty Monday to distributing child pornography, including while working as a law enforcement officer.
Anthony Brown, 57, of Lakewood, pleaded guilty to one count of a federal criminal charge of distribution of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Central District of California said in a news release.
Previously, in September 2021, he had pleaded not guilty at his arraignment to three counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
Brown used his smart phone to log into MeWe, an internet-based messaging application, including when he was on duty as a Long Beach police officer, according to his plea agreement.
While logged in, Brown knowingly distributed and possessed child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Brown was removed from MeWe and reported by the platform to authorities, a MeWe spokesperson told KTLA when Brown was arraigned.
Brown admitted in his plea agreement to distributing sexually explicit images of girls in November 2019, March 2020 and April 2020, the news release states.
From October 2019 through May 2020, Brown also knowingly possessed a sexually explicit image of a girl who appeared to be 11 or 12 years old.
Brown was a Long Beach police officer for 27 years, most recently assigned to a Long Beach airport security detail.
The department began investigating him in May 2020 after they received an anonymous tip about a possible crime against a child, the Los Angeles Times reported. Brown was then suspended without pay.
But Brown may receive a pension of about $93,000 a year, the Long Beach Post reported last year, which is guaranteed under state law. However it has exceptions, including if he is convicted of a felony connected to his job, according to the report.
He left the force last year after his arrest on state charges of possession and distribution of child pornography. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office dismissed those charges in light of the federal case.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 25, at which time Brown will face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
Homeland Security Investigations and the Long Beach Police Department investigated this matter.