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Press Release

Former Department Of Energy Contractor Sentenced To 121 Months For Distributing And Possessing Child Pornography

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

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On April 18, 2023, the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, sentenced David Bryon King, age 57, to serve 121 months in federal prison followed by a lifetime on supervised release for attempted distribution and possessing child pornography.  During the time of the offense, King was a contractor working as a fire inspector for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

According to the filed plea agreement, King admitted that he distributed child pornography to others in 2022, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2522A(a)(2)(B), and possessed child pornography in 2021 and 2022, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B).  King was identified as making online payments to individuals believed to be selling child pornography.  Agents with the Department of Energy Office of Inspector General interviewed King at his residence.  During the interview, King admitted to being in possession of child pornography, specifically on his smartphone.  Agents seized the device and obtained a federal search warrant to search the device.  Forensic analyses of King’s smartphone uncovered images and videos of child pornography and other evidence linking King to the attempted distribution of child pornography.

“Protecting children and holding perpetrators accountable is a top priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases,” said United States Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III.

“I commend our agents and our partners at the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for investigating and prosecuting such heinous crimes against children,” said Teri L. Donaldson, Inspector General for the Department of Energy.  “Our investigators will continue doing everything they can to identify and investigate instances of child exploitation within the Department.  Crimes against children have absolutely no place anywhere, and we will continue working with the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Offices around the country to investigate and prosecute the offenders.”

The case was investigated by the Department of Energy Office of Inspector General. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kolman represented the United States.    

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006, by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about PSC, please visit

For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources.”




Rachelle Barnes
Public Affairs Officer
(865) 545-4167

Updated April 18, 2023

Project Safe Childhood