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Press Release

Clear Lake Man Charged With Federal Child Pornography Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

Brandon Phinney, age 27, of Clear Lake, Iowa, has been indicted on federal child pornography charges. The charges are contained in an Indictment unsealed February 13, 2013, in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids.

The Indictment alleges that, between 2008 and 2011, Phinney received and possessed child pornography.

If convicted on all charges, Phinney faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 70 years’ imprisonment, $1,500,000 in fines, $600 in special assessments, and at least 5 years and up to life on supervised release following any imprisonment.

Phinney appeared on February 13, 2013, in federal court in Cedar Rapids and was released on bond. Phinney’s next appearance for trial is set for April 15, 2013.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the Clear Lake Police Department, the Mason City Police Department, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

Court file information is available at The case file number is CR 13-3005.

Updated February 19, 2015