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Press Release

Florence Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison for Possession of Child Pornography

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

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA --- Tommy Rene Lee, 53, was sentenced to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.

Evidence presented to the Court showed that Lee used his personal electronic devices to possess child pornography.  Lee came to the attention of law enforcement when two social networking sites reported evidence of alleged criminal activity on their servers. The IP addresses of the reports were ultimately traced to Lee. Upon Lee’s arrest, law enforcement seized electronic devices and conducted forensics examinations that found 121 images and 17 videos depicting child pornography.

The investigation also revealed that Lee had a prior conviction under North Carolina law involving second-degree exploitation of a minor.

United States District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks sentenced Lee to 120 months and 1 day in prison, to be followed by a life term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.  Judge Hendricks also ordered Lee to pay $12,000 in restitution.

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

This case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy F. Bower is prosecuting the case.

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Brook Andrews, First Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office,, 803-929-3000

Updated April 24, 2023

Project Safe Childhood