Dam Neck-based sonar technician pleads guilty to possession of child pornography

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Andrew Keane Davis, a Navy employee, has been charged with five counts of child pornography.
A trial date has been set for Andrew Keane Davis. The 35-year-old U.S. Navy sonar technician is charged with five counts of child pornography possession. (Courtesy of the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office)

VIRGINIA BEACH — A sonar technician stationed at NAS Oceana Dam Neck Annex could spend up to 45 years in prison for possessing child pornography and advertising it online.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Andrew Keane Davis, 36, pleaded guilty to five counts of possession of child pornography in Virginia Beach Circuit Court on Tuesday. His plea was not part of an agreement with the prosecution.

Court documents show that Davis, who has been in the Navy for 16 years, admitted to having child pornography on a computer located in the dining room of his Virginia Beach apartment, as well as on an external hard drive located in the same room.

Davis’ Nov. 1 arrest came after a five-month long investigation conducted by the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, during which officers found child pornography linked to Davis’ IP address being shared online, court documents state.

Davis is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 8. He could be sentenced to as many as 45 years in prison and have to pay $12,000 to the court.

He will also undergo a court-appointed psycho-sexual mental evaluation, which is used in sex crimes to determine how likely a defendant is to re-offend when they are out of jail.

Davis was granted a $10,000 bond on Nov. 2, which was contingent on the U.S. Navy agreeing to keep him on a secured base. Navy officials never came to get him, and Davis remained in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center, prosecutor Vivian Henderson said.

Davis was a Virginia Beach-based sonar technician who reported to the Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, which is based at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, said Commander Corey Baker during a November interview with Southside Daily.

Davis worked in a “junior leadership role” as one of a small group of technicians who keep sonar systems and equipment operating on surface ships and submarines, Barker said.

Davis maintained underwater surveillance and used sonar equipment to find and analyze targets, navigate vessels safely and conduct search and rescue operations, Barker said.

The Navy doesn’t believe any government computer systems were affected by the child pornography incident.

“The Navy takes allegations of sailor misconduct very seriously,” Barker said in November.

Mayfield can be reached at adrienne.m@southsidedaily.com.