Skip to main content
Press Release

Mitchell Man Sentenced for Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography

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

SIOUX FALLS - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier has sentenced a Mitchell, South Dakota, man/woman convicted of Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography. The sentencing took place on August 7, 2023.

Justin Douglas Brende, age 43, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, 15 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Brende was indicted by a federal grand jury in June of 2022. He pleaded guilty on May 16, 2023.

The conviction stemmed from incidents between November 1, 2020 and October 3, 2021, when Brende knowingly received and distributed material which contained child pornography. Brende used his cellular phone to access the internet and subsequently searched for, received, and distributed child pornography.  On some occasions, he used his PayPal account as a means to pay money to access digital files that contained images and videos of prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Some of the prepubescent minors had not attained the age of 12.

This case was investigated by the DCI, the SD Internet Crimes Against Children, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the Mitchell Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Clapper prosecuted the case.

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 the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Brende was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated August 15, 2023