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Lee County Man Sentenced to 38 Years in Prison for Sexual Exploitation of Two Children

           Montgomery, Alabama – Today, U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart announced that Brandon Thomas Hart, 33, from Smiths Station, Alabama, was sentenced to 38 years in prison for sexually exploiting two children.

           According to Hart’s plea agreement and other court records, an investigation began in September 2020 when law enforcement in Dallas, Texas became aware of sexually explicit images—images that appeared to include minors— being shared through a messaging app called Kik. FBI agents in Texas were able to trace the origin of the messages back to Smiths Station and Hart was identified as a potential suspect. Further investigation by the Lee County, Alabama Sheriff’s Office and the FBI confirmed those suspicions. In his plea agreement, Hart specifically admitted to inducing two minors under the age of 18 to engage in sexually explicit conduct for him to photograph. Hart also admitted that he recorded explicit images of the two minors while they were not conscious and distributed the images online using Kik.     

           On June 29, 2022, Hart pleaded guilty to the charges. Three months later, on September 30, Hart received the 38-year sentence. Following his prison sentence, Hart will be on supervised release for the remainder of his life and will be required to register as a sex offender. There is no parole in the federal system. Related state charges remain pending.

           This case was investigated by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney J. Patrick Lamb prosecuted the case.

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