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North Carolina man sentenced to over 16 years in prison for possessing child pornography

Francis Brady, of Fayetteville, was sentenced June 7, 2021 to 200 months in prison for possession of child pornography, according to a press release from the Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Brady pleaded guilty to the charge on January 19, 2021.

According to court documents and statements made during hearings, the investigation began in June 2015 when FBI agents in Louisville, Kentucky seized the phone of a child exploitation suspect.

“The phone revealed multiple individuals with whom the Louisville suspect had traded images of child pornography and discussed sexually abusing children using the chat platform Kik,” stated the release. “One of people used the display name ‘Horny Dad.’ From June 2 to June 18, 2015, the Louisville suspect and the ‘Horny Dad’ user had exchanged multiple images depicting child pornography and discussed what sexual acts they wished to conduct on the children.

“Records requests revealed the ‘Horny Dad’ user to be the defendant Francis Brady, of Fayetteville, NC. Internet IP records likewise showed that Brady had accessed the account from a business with open Wi-Fi access that neighbored a restaurant where he worked,” the release continued. “Brady was determined to be a registered sex offender, following a 2006 conviction for Indecent Liberty with a Child, and his email address of record on the sex offender registry matched that for the Kik account. IP Records further showed that Brady accessed his Kik account using two Samsung S5 cell phones.”

The FBI obtained a federal warrant for Brady’s cell phones, which they executed at Brady’s home on June 12, 2017 with assistance from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. Law enforcement seized the two cell phones and Brady voluntarily turned over multiple other digital devices, including phones, computers and memory cards, stated the release.

During an interview, Brady admitted to using the Kik account and that a thumb drive in his room would contain photos of prepubescent children and teenagers, according to the release, which also stated that digital forensics revealed 750 images of child pornography on Brady’s devices, including almost 300 images that depicted children under 12.

G. Norman Acker III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh prosecuted the case.

“This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level,” stated the release. “For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.”

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