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Press Release

St. Francois County Man Admits Third Child Pornography Offense

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – A man from St. Francois County, Missouri on Wednesday pleaded guilty to his third child pornography offense and now faces at least 15 years in federal prison.

James D. Brewer, 50, of Park Hills, pleaded guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Matthew T. Schelp to a felony charge of receiving child pornography.

As part of his plea, Brewer acknowledged that he was also convicted of distribution of child pornography in a 1997 case and possession of child pornography in a 2008 case. Brewer was sentenced to ten years in prison and a lifetime term of supervised release in the 2008 case. One of the conditions of Brewer’s supervised release is that he is subject to a search when reasonable suspicion exists that he violated a condition of supervision.

After United States probation officers received information that Brewer bought a laptop at a pawn shop, they conducted an unannounced home visit on March 1, 2022. They found the computer and also spotted a smart phone, USB drives, a smart watch and a cell phone. Brewer admitted downloading child sexual abuse material via the smart phone and storing it on one of the USB drives. Thousands of images containing child pornography were found on the phone, the USB drive and a hard drive, Brewer admitted in his plea Wednesday.

Brewer faces a mandatory minimum prison term of 15 years at his sentencing, scheduled for March 14, as well as an assessment of up to $35,000.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Probation Office in St. Louis.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Department of Justice Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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

Updated December 14, 2022

Project Safe Childhood