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A convicted sex offender from North Hills who was spotted photographing children at a Granada Hills strip mall pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal child pornography possession charge.

Warren Alec Johnson, 56, entered his plea to possession of a compact disc containing at least one image of child pornography involving a minor under the age of 12, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald set April 23 for sentencing. Although the charge carries a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, prosecutors are recommending Johnson serve no more than a dozen years behind bars.

The case began in October 2014 when Johnson, a construction worker, was spotted taking photos of children attending an elementary school fund- raiser at a restaurant in a Granada Hills strip mall. A person at the event became suspicious and contacted authorities.

Days later, a child sex abuse task force composed of FBI agents and Los Angeles Police Department officers searched his home and found the disc. He was then taken into custody on suspicion of child annoyance.

Johnson was previously convicted in 2008 of possession of child pornography.

“As a result of his prior conduct which indicates a sexual interest in children, information obtained in relation to the 2008 investigation, and materials seized during the search, authorities suspect that Johnson may have had improper conduct with minors,” the FBI said in a statement after Johnson was charged in Los Angeles federal court in 2015.

—City News Service

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