Port Charlotte Man Sentenced To 30 Years For Production Of Child Pornography
Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell has sentenced Brian Author Thomas (27, Port Charlotte) to 30 years in federal prison for production of child pornography. The Court also ordered him to forfeit his laptop computer and cellphone, which were used to commit the offense.
Thomas was found guilty on February 23, 2017.
According to court documents, FBI agents were able to download approximately 14 images and 2 videos depicting child pornography from Thomas’s computer between January 18, 2016, and March 2, 2016, using a peer-to-peer file sharing program. Agents executed a search warrant at Thomas’s residence on March 30, 2016, and seized his laptop computer and cellphone.
During an interview with agents, Thomas admitted that he had been downloading images and videos of child pornography for a few years. Thomas stated that he lived in the residence with a minor and her parents and that he had taken numerous videos of the minor while she was sleeping in her bed at night. He also admitted that he had started video recording the minor when she was nine years old.
A subsequent forensic analysis of Thomas’s laptop computer and cellphone revealed that from at least July 18, 2012, through March 30, 2016, he had collected in excess of 6,000 images and 35 videos depicting prepubescent minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Thomas’s cellphone contained approximately 11 videos that he had produced between May 1, 2014, through June 12, 2014, depicting the identified minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Yolande G. Viacava.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, 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 United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood 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 Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.