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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 7, 2022

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.

Updated March 7, 2022