Centralia man sentenced on federal child porn, extortion charges

Centralia man sentenced on federal child porn, extortion charges

CENTRALIA, IL — A 35-year-old Centralia man was sentenced last week to 14 years in federal prison after he had earlier pleaded guilty to child pornography and extortion offenses. Bryan Flanagan was sentenced Thursday. He pleaded guilty in September 2021 to 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. The case was investigated by the FBI, Springfield-Division and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Chris Hoell and George Norwood.

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