NorCal sex offender arrested in Jackson County
A Siskiyou County man listed as a California sex offender was arrested in Southern Oregon on a warrant accusing him of possessing more than 100 files depicting child exploitation within his luggage ahead of an international flight.
Samuel Christopher Garrett of Happy Camp, California, was arrested earlier this month in Jackson County.
Garrett, 73, was wanted on a federal child pornography warrant stemming from a search of his laptop at San Francisco International Airport just before boarding a flight to Thailand, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, and first reported earlier this week by the San Jose Mercury News.
On Dec. 30, 2019, U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigators at the airport allegedly found sexual paraphernalia in Garrett’s luggage that included “condoms, Viagra pills and a ’ManGroomer’ body shaving tool,” according to a Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent’s affidavit filed March 1 and unsealed last week. Also within Garrett’s luggage was a money transfer receipt to an individual in Cambodia.
“Laos, Cambodia and other countries in that area of Asia are known for transnational child sex offenses,” the Homeland Security affidavit stated.
Feds say that Garrett was attempting to return to Asia after having been deported Dec. 29 to the United States while trying to enter Cambodia.
Garrett has a 1998 conviction for lewd or lascivious acts with a 14- or 15-year-old, according to the California Megan’s Law sex offender registry.
Two Customs and Border Protection officers stopped Garrett “on the jetway” Dec. 30 as he was boarding the EVA Air flight to Taipei, according to the affidavit, and seized digital devices that included an Asus laptop and two smartphones.
On Garrett’s iPhone, investigators say they found "messages to contacts with profile pictures of young Asian males,“ but determining any ages was difficult ”due to the size and quality of the pictures.“
The following month, a Homeland Security computer forensic analyst allegedly found “at least 122 images that could be classified as either child pornography or child erotica” involving prepubescent children being abused.
The document details one video on Garrett’s computer that allegedly had a file name of “Russian Flowers” but actually involved three male juveniles “estimated to be between the ages of 8 and 13.”
“The video is approximately 10 minutes and 44 seconds long and contains multiple instances of child sodomy,” the affidavit states.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was able to match eight of the files on Garrett’s laptop to known child victims, according to an identification report provided to law enforcement in October.
A warrant was issued on the single charge of possessing child pornography Feb. 26, and federal agents arrested Garrett on the charge March 2, according to court and Jackson County Jail records.
The following day, Garrett made an appearance in U.S. District Court in Medford, where Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke released him ahead of a March 17 court appearance in San Francisco. Terms of his release included GPS monitoring and prohibits him from using or possessing any computers or electronic media devices without prior court approval.
At the March 17 hearing, Garrett posted $25,000 bond, court records show.
Garrett’s next court appearance is an arraignment scheduled for April 14 in San Francisco, records show.
Reach reporter Nick Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.