COVINGTON MAN SENTENCED TO 240 MONTHS IMPRISONMENT AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE MATERIAL
Published 10:30 am Monday, October 4, 2021
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that BRANDON WARD, age 34,
a resident of Covington, Louisiana, was sentenced to 240 months imprisonment by United States
District Judge Eldon E. Fallon after previously pleading guilty to a one-count Indictment charging
him with distribution of images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children, including
children as young as less than one (1) year old, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ‘ 2252(a)(2). Judge
Fallon also sentenced WARD to five (5) years of supervised release after his term of imprisonment
and pay a $100 mandatory special assessment fee. WARD will also be required to register as a
sex offender. Judge Fallon scheduled a restitution hearing for December 16, 2021.
According to court documents, in about October 2019, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of
Investigation operating in an undercover capacity accessed a chat room within an instant
messaging mobile application known to be a haven for purveyors of digital files depicting the
sexual victimization of children. Between September 29, 2019, and October 13, 2019, an
individual subsequently determined to be WARD posted over two dozen links to online file
storage service accounts. Each link contained hundreds of videos depicting pre-pubescent children
engaging in sexually explicit conduct with adults. In total, WARD uploaded at least 47,000 files
to the accounts. For example, on October 31, 2019, a special agent with the FBI reviewed the
contents of one of WARD’s accounts, and it contained approximately 151 files, all of which
depicted the sexual victimization of children as young as less than one year old.
Additionally, a second FBI special agent acting in an undercover capacity participated in direct
communication with WARD via Skype, phone, and text message. In the conversations, WARD
claimed he had been in contact with an 8-year-old female (Minor 1) who had a crush on him.
WARD sent non-sexually explicit pictures he took of Minor 1 to the undercover agent. WARD
also instructed the undercover agent, who claimed to be babysitting a six-year-old female, to
engage in sexually explicit conduct with the child while WARD watched via Skype.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the
growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department
of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys= Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation
and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources
to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well
as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this
matter. Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg is in charge of the prosecution.