MACON, Ga. (WRBL) – According to a news release, a Macon, Georgia, resident who used the social media identity of a 12-year-old girl by using threats and forced the victim to produce child pornography material that he sold online faces a maximum of 30 years in federal prison.

On March 31, 2022, Anthony Sparks Brown, 27, from Macon, Georgia, pleaded guilty to producing child pornography before U.S. Court District Judge Tilman E. Self.

Brown is facing a mandatory sentence of 15 years up to 30 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 fine, and a maximum lifetime of supervised release.

Brown will also have to register as a sex offender for life after release from prison. Brown’s sentencing is scheduled for July 12, 2022.

“The facts, in this case, are terrible but, sadly, all too common. The epidemic of child sexual exploitation online is such that parents must empower themselves and their children with information and take the necessary proactive measures to protect themselves from online predators,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Federal, state and local law enforcement resources are being engaged to track down and stop cyber child predators around the clock.”

According to court records, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in January 2019. The report originated from Facebook detailing child pornography material communicated between two Facebook users. Based on the report, one user was a middle school-aged female, and the other was a 57-year-old man.

An investigation conducted by the GBI discovered that Brown used the female victim’s account to possess, distribute, and sell child pornography material.

Brown met the female victim, a 12-year-old girl from Tennessee, on Instagram in 2018.

Brown told investigators that she sent him nude images. Later, Brown threatened the female victim on Facebook using an alias, sending her nude photos and other inappropriate photos, claiming that he would share them with her parents.

After threatening the minor, Brown proposed making a deal where in exchange for the female victim’s Facebook login information, he would refrain from sending the explicit photos to her parents.

Once Brown received her login credentials, he began soliciting more sexual images and videos from the girl using threats.

On July 9, 2019, authorities arrested Brown at his residence at the Intown Suites Hotel in Macon, Georgia, where he also worked.

Brown confessed to threatening the girl to receive her Facebook login credentials and assume her identity on the social media platform.

He also confessed to using threats to coerce more sexually exploitive images and videos from her, distributing them and selling some of the photos to her uncle.