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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Colorado Springs Man Who Used Identity of Internet Crimes Against Children Officer Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Transportation of Child Pornography

DENVER – Brandon Tyler Hill, age 31, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was sentenced on January 19, 2017 by U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson to serve 360 months (30 years) in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervision for transportation of child pornography, Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Commander for Colorado Lieutenant Christina Sheppard of the Colorado Springs Police Department, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Denver Division Acting Special Agent in Charge John Eisert announced.

 

On May 6, 2015, a federal grand jury returned an Indictment charging Brandon Tyler Hill, of Colorado Springs, and Rhiannon Carnahan, of Woodland Park, Colorado, with child pornography related charges. Prior to the indictment, Hill and Carnahan were charged via Criminal Complaints. Hill pled guilty to an Information charging three counts of transportation of child pornography on March 31, 2016. Carnahan has pled guilty to child pornography charges and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 21, 2017.

 

According to court documents, the Colorado Springs Police Department initiated an investigation after a civilian witness reached out to law enforcement to report that Hill had sent unwanted child pornography images via email and was being extorted to produce more child pornography images. As part of the investigation, it was determined that the defendant utilized numerous identities, including that of an ICAC police officer, to extort the civilian witness to produce child pornography. The investigation revealed that Hill was also communicating online with co-defendant Rhiannon Carnahan, who he learned had access to a child who was 3 years old when the offense conduct began. Hill made numerous and repeated requests for images and videos depicting the 3 year old engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Hill also used various pseudonyms, including the identity of an ICAC police officer, to communicate with Carnahan. During the course of the communications and in response to Hill’s requests for child pornography depicting the 3 year old, Carnahan took sexually explicit images and videos of the child with her cell phone and sent them to Hill. Hill has a prior conviction for Criminal Attempt to Commit Sexual Exploitation of a Child in El Paso County, Colorado.

 

“This defendant earned his way to a 30-year sentence: he preyed on our most innocent and most vulnerable, and he pretended to be a cop at times while doing it,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer.

 

“This is a serious crime, and thanks to our officers and resources, the Colorado Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC), working with law enforcement partners, were able to investigate and apprehend this individual,” ICAC Commander and Colorado Springs Police Department Lieutenant Christina Sheppard said. “This defendant is going to prison for a long time thanks to the work of law enforcement and civilians, and in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. This is an important fight to protect our children.”

 

“Our HSI special agents work closely with other law enforcement agencies to identify, investigate, and present for prosecution anyone who engages in producing, distributing or possessing child pornography,” said John Eisert, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. “The federal penalties for these heinous crimes against children are appropriately severe, as this 30-year prison sentence demonstrates.”

 

This case was investigated by the Colorado Springs Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with support provided by the Woodland Park Police Department.

 

Hill was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alecia Riewerts, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator.

 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated January 25, 2017