Former Macon banker pleads guilty to child porn charges

A former Macon banker pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography Wednesday in federal court.

Authorities found that J. Lee Anderson III, 45, had between 150 and 300 images containing child pornography, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul McCommon said.

The images depicted minors engaging in “sexually explicit” conduct, according to court records. Some of the images were of children under the age of 12, McCommon said.

U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Max Wood said Anderson initially was arrested by Bibb County deputies. The case came to his office because it required the FBI’s expertise in analyzing the photos.

“That’s one reason why it took so long,” Wood said.

The case was investigated as part of the Justice Department’s Safe Childhood project. That program brings together local, state and federal agencies to combat sex crimes involving the use of the Internet to sexually exploit children.

Anderson’s attorney, Frank Hogue, declined to comment Wednesday.

Anderson, a former employee of Colonial Bank, was initially arrested April 24, 2006, and charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of a child, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities confiscated several computers and hundreds of CDs and floppy disks from his home, his work space at Colonial Bank on Walnut Street and a Peake Road storage facility, according to the sheriff’s office.

Anderson’s wife, Dorothy Anderson, had filed for divorce April 21, 2006. She noted in an affidavit that “while investigating whether or not my husband had been engaged in extramarital affairs, I discovered a tremendous amount of pornographic material, including child pornography, with multiple photographs of young naked girls.”

An arrest warrant said that Anderson’s wife had turned over material to her attorney.

Anderson quit his job at Colonial Bank on Oct. 31, 2006, for personal reasons, according to the bank’s corporate human resources department.

Anderson entered his plea in U.S. District Court on Wednesday in accordance with a plea agreement, but the terms of the agreement were not read aloud in court, and the plea document was not available for review.

Sentencing will come in about two months. The maximum sentence is 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a period of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Anderson is eligible for a presentence bond of $25,000 with special conditions.

McCommon read aloud the conditions in court, including: He can’t possess pornography or go to a place where pornography can be obtained or viewed. Anderson can’t use a computer with Internet access without permission from the probation office. He also can’t be alone with anyone under the age of 18 without the supervision of someone over 21, and he can’t go to places that children frequent.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.