U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced Brian Harden, 39, of Hendersonville, N.C. to 210 months in prison on child pornography charges on April 30, 2020. Brian was also ordered to pay a $5,000 special assessment, serve a lifetime term of supervised release, and register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.
According to information introduced at the sentencing hearing, law enforcement became aware that on June 13, 2018, Brian was distributing child pornography to another individual via “Skype,” an internet messaging app that allows users to video chat and share messages, images, and videos.
Law enforcement executed a search at Brian’s residence, and seized multiple computer devices, cellular phones and a CD. A forensic analysis of the seized items revealed that Brian possessed more than 600 images of child pornography, including images of children under 12, and material depicting the violent, sadistic or masochistic sexual abuse of children.
Brian admitted he had been sending and receiving child pornography online for at least two years. Brian further admitted that he frequently visited websites and chat rooms online to locate and download child pornography, and to trade images with other individuals.
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On September 12, 2019, Brian pleaded guilty to distribution and attempted distribution of child pornography. Brian is currently in federal custody. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.