United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt announced that Wade Rowland Sanders was sentenced today in federal court in San Diego by the Honorable Thomas J. Whelan to serve 37 months in custody and 5 years of supervised release following his release from prison based on Sanders’ conviction for one count of possession of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(4)(B). Judge Whelan also ordered Sanders to register as a sex offender. Sanders entered his felony guilty plea before Judge Whelan on December 22, 2008.
According to court records, Sanders admitted that on or about May 2, 2008, he possessed a computer and computer media which he knew contained over 600 images of minors, including one 21-minute video file that depicted several prepubescent females engaged in sexual conduct with an adult male and performing oral sex on one another. United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt said, “There can be no question that possession of child pornography is a serious federal felony for a reason: each time these horrific images are downloaded, distributed and viewed, it victimizes again the innocent children who were abused or raped when the images were first made. In this case, the defendant possessed and distributed hundreds of very graphic images of young children being abused for the sexual gratification of others. All persons are equal before the court of law and Mr. Sanders is no different; the sentence of imprisonment is appropriate given the nature of the serious criminal conduct he admitted to have engaged in by his voluntary guilty plea.”
At the time of his arrest by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sanders was the Senior Advisor for Veterans and Military Affairs to Lt. Gov. John Garamendi of the State of California. Sanders is also a retired Captain from the United States Navy, and the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Clinton. Prior to his arrest, Sanders was an active member of the State Bar of California; he is no longer eligible to practice law.
This case stems from a nationwide investigation by Federal Bureau of Investigation and assisted by the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, whose members include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the San Diego Police Department, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the Chula Vista Police Department, the United States Attorney’s Office, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the United States Marshals Service, the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the El Cajon Police Department.
This case is being brought as part of the Department of Justice Project Safe Childhood (PSC) and the FBI’s Innocent Images National Initiative (IINI). Both are nationwide initiatives designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. For more information about PSC, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. and for additional information on IINI, please visit www.fbi.gov.
Defendant: WADE ROWLAND SANDERS
Case Number: 08cr4180-W
Age: 68 San Diego, California
Summary of Charges: Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(4)(B) (Possession of Child Pornography)
Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation