WASHINGTON – An Arkansas man was sentenced today to 70 years in prison for producing and transporting child pornography, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Matthew Friedrich and U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Arkansas Robert C. Balfe announced. Brian Bergthold, 45, was also ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Jimm Hendren to pay a $75,000 fine and serve a lifetime of supervised release following his release from prison.
Bergthold pleaded guilty on July 26, 2007, to a two-count criminal information filed in the Western District of Arkansas that charged one count each of producing and transporting child pornography. Bergthold also pleaded guilty on the same day to a one-count criminal information filed in the District of Oregon, which was later transferred to the Western District of Arkansas, that charged a separate incident of production of child pornography in Oregon.
In both his written plea agreement and during his plea, Bergthold admitted that during the time he acted as a foster parent for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, he had sexual contact with and produced several photos and videos of a minor who had been placed in Bergthold’s care and custody. Bergthold also admitted in both his written plea agreement and plea that during the search of his home in Bella Vista, investigators located a VHS tape that contained movie images of two minors engaged in sexual intercourse. Bergthold admitted that he produced the VHS tape in the state of Oregon and transported the videotape when he moved from Oregon to Arkansas.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas and Trial Attorney Steven Grocki of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. The case was investigated by both federal and local law enforcement acting in cooperation. Federal involvement included the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement in both the Western District of Arkansas and the District of Oregon. The local law enforcement entities included primarily the Bella Vista Police Department, with support from the Benton County, Ark., Sheriff’s Office; the Fayetteville, Ark., Police Department; the Bentonville, Ark., Police Department; and the Fort Smith, Ark., Police Department.