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Press Release

Former Bruning Man Convicted for Receipt of Child Pornography

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

Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that Shane Robert Smith, 51, formerly of Bruning, Nebraska, was sentenced today in Lincoln, Nebraska, by United States District Judge John M. Gerrard for receipt of child pornography. Smith was sentenced to 28 years in prison and 15 years of supervised release with special conditions. There is no parole in the federal system. Smith was additionally ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution.

This case began with a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) cyber tip indicating that Facebook user “Shane Smith” had attempted to share a video of child pornography to another Facebook user in August of 2019. On February 13, 2020, a residential search warrant was executed at Smith’s residence. A forensic examination was completed of Smith’s seized devices. A laptop contained more than 200 image files of child pornography. On July 13, 2020, Smith was arrested and his new cell phone was seized and searched pursuant to a federal search warrant. The examination of the phone revealed around 15 additional child pornography files. Some of the child pornography images located on Smith’s devices were of a relative child.

The examination of Smith’s devices and evidence later obtained through a search warrant to Facebook additionally revealed many chat messages in which Smith talked about the sexual abuse of children. In several messages Smith bragged about sexually abusing his own children in the early 2000s. Within other messages Smith fantasized about sexually abusing other minors, including the relative who appeared in some of the child pornography photos that were located on Smith’s devices. Due to custody arrangements, Smith did not have direct access to this child.

Smith has previously been convicted for possessing child pornography in violation of the law of the state of Nebraska twice. On February 21, 2014, he was convicted for possessing child pornography in the District Court for Howard County, Nebraska. On March 6, 2014, he was convicted for possessing child pornography in the District Court for Hall County, Nebraska.

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 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 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

This case was investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations.


Updated October 8, 2021

Project Safe Childhood