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Weber County man faces 5-plus years in prison for child pornography case

By Mark Shenefelt - | May 6, 2022

BEN DORGER, Standard-Examiner file photo

The United States Courthouse in Salt Lake City is pictured on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019.

SALT LAKE CITY — One of two Weber County men accused of producing and distributing child pornography has pleaded guilty to a charge that could draw a sentence of five to 20 years in federal prison.

In documents filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, Dyllan Gabbard, 30, agreed to plead guilty to distribution of child pornography, with federal prosecutors dropping counts of production of child pornography and possession of child pornography. The plea documents said the charge Gabbard admits to carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years; the maximum is 20 years.

Gabbard and Sebastian Blake Escobedo were charged on June 25, 2020, with identical crimes stemming from an investigation by a Davis County sheriff’s detective who has worked on state and federal child protection task forces.

Charging documents said the two allegedly transmitted and downloaded explicit imagery using social media applications, email and text. Escobedo allegedly obtained photos of a nude male child and gave them to Gabbard, who then allegedly posed as a 12-year-old boy on social media and used the photos to entice a 12-year-old boy to take explicit photos of himself. Those photos were then shared on social media by the defendants, the charging documents alleged.

Investigators also said they found child pornography on both suspects’ phones.

Gabbard is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 17. Escobedo has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Gabbard originally was charged in 2nd District Court in Ogden, but Weber County prosecutors later dropped the case when federal attorneys served notice they wanted to pick it up. Many state criminal cases are transferred to federal court, where penalties often are stronger.

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