MACON, Ga. (WRBL) – On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia announced a Macon resident was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he pretended to be a 12-year-old girl on social media and used threats to force a victim to produce child sexual abuse material, which he sold online.

Anthony Sparks Brown, 27, of Macon, Georgia, received a 20-year prison sentence, lifetime supervised release, and must register as a sex offender for life after pleading guilty to distributing child pornography.

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, based on a report from Facebook detailing child sexual abuse material sent between two Facebook users, one, a middle school-aged female and the other, a 57-year-old man.

An investigation revealed that Brown used the minor female’s account to possess, distribute, and sell child sexual abuse material.

Brown met the 12-year-old from Tennessee on Instagram in 2018. Brown explained to investigators that the victim sent him nude images. Later Brown threatened the female victim on Facebook using an alias by sending the minor her own nude and sexually explicit photos, stating that he knew that she did not want her parents to see the images.

Brown then proposed a deal where in exchange for the minor’s Facebook login information, Brown would refrain from sending her explicit photos. The female victim complied and sent her credentials to Brown.

After receiving the minor’s credentials, Brown began soliciting sexual images and videos from the girl using threats.

Authorities took Brown into custody on July 9, 2019. Brown confessed that he threatened the girl to obtain her Facebook credentials and assumed her identity on the social media platform, conversing with her friends and family.

Brown further confessed to using threats to coerce more sexually explicit images and videos from her, distributing the images, and selling some of the photos.

The case is part of the Project Safe Childhood, a countrywide initiative to combat the growing issue of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

The GBI investigated Brown’s case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Kalim prosecuted the case.