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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Panama City Beach Man Sentenced to 204 Months in Prison for Online Child Exploitation Offenses

PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – Brandon Royce Phillips, 34, of Panama City Beach, was sentenced yesterday in the U.S. District Court in Panama City to 204 months in prison after being convicted on January 23 of production, receipt, and possession of child pornography.  The sentence was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

During the one and a half day trial, the government presented evidence that, in November 2016, the grandmother of a 14-year-old boy advised the Clay County Sheriff’s Office that an unknown person had sent the boy sexually graphic videos during chats on Kik, a social media application.  The investigation disclosed that Phillips, posing as a 17-year-old female named “Katie Davis,” had sent the boy pornographic videos of a female that Phillips claimed to be “Davis.”  Phillips then convinced the boy to take sexually explicit videos of himself and send them to Phillips via Kik.  Further investigation revealed videos of other children engaged in the same sexually explicit conduct.

U.S. Attorney Canova said: “This sentence is another warning that the exploitation of our community’s children will not be tolerated.  Our office will continue its aggressive work with our federal and local law enforcement partners to combat and prosecute those who prey upon the innocence of a child.”

“Let this serve as a reminder that child predators hide behind false identities on social media applications,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.  “Thanks to HSI special agents and our partners at the Clay and Bay County Sheriff’s Offices, we have stopped another criminal from abusing children online.”

“The Bay County Sheriff's Office is glad to partner with other agencies to put criminals where they can no longer prey upon children,” Sheriff Tommy Ford said.  “By working together, we are the most effective at keeping our children safe.”

The case was investigated by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher J. Thielemann.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
For more information, contact: Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer amy.alexander@usdoj.gov
Updated April 25, 2018