CENTRALIA MAN SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND SEXTORTION CHARGES
BENTON, Ill. – Bryan Flanagan, 35, of Centralia, Illinois, was sentenced to 14 years in federal
prison on Thursday, March 3, 2022, on two counts of distribution of child pornography and five
counts of interstate communication with intent to extort. Flanagan pleaded guilty to charges in
federal court on September 16, 2021.
Flanagan extorted multiple minor girls online to send him sexual videos and images. Beginning in
February 2020, Flanagan used fake profiles pretending to be a teenage boy on Facebook to contact
multiple underage girls across the United States. Flanagan pressured and threatened his victims
into sending him sexually explicit videos and images. When some victims refused to do so, Flanagan
lied and told them that he was babysitting a young child and would rape or molest the child unless
his online victims sent him the requested images. Flanagan distributed images of child pornography
to at least two of his victims.
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 www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education,
please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield-Division.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Chris Hoell and George Norwood.