Eagle River man sentenced for possession of 1.2 million images of child sexual abuse

FastCast digital headlines for Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 2:49 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A former employee of the State of Alaska has been sentenced for possessing over a million images depicting child sexual abuse.

John Daniel Brooks of Eagle River has been sentenced to 78 months in prison followed by supervision for the rest of his life, according to a release from the Department of Justice.

Brooks pled guilty to one count of distribution and receipt of child pornography. An analyst programmer who worked remotely for the State of Alaska, Brooks was reported by his employer in September of 2021 to the Anchorage office of the Federal Department of Investigation for suspected possession of images of child sexual exploitation. While executing a search warrant at Brooks’ residence, FBI investigators found that Brooks had installed an internal hard drive on his state-owned computer that contained over 1.2 million images depicting sexual abuse and exploitation of children as young as infants.

According to Special Agent in Charge Antony Jung of the FBI’s Anchorage Field Office, the cache is one of the largest they’ve encountered in the state.

“Our investigation revealed Mr. Brooks acquired and possessed one of the largest collections of child sexual abuse materials found in Alaska,” Jung said.

“Possession of this material is not a victimless crime, and the FBI will use every legal authority we have to root out predators to protect children from these unconscionable offenses,” Jung said.

U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker, District of Alaska, said those who possess large amounts of exploitative material directly contribute to the global exploitation of children.

“Large scale consumers of child sexual abuse materials like Mr. Brooks directly contribute to the exploitation of children worldwide,” Tucker said. “The sentence imposed by the court reflects the seriousness of this type of abhorrent behavior and we will continue to prosecute these cases to the fullest extent of the law. Thanks to the hard work of the FBI and APD, in coordination with our State partners, Mr. Brooks has been brought to justice.”

This case was investigated as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 to address the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse which utilizes “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.”

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, resources are available on the Alaska Children’s Alliance and Alaska Children’s Trust websites. To report abuse or neglect, call the state’s hotline at 1-800-478-4444 or the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, resources are available on the Standing Together Against Rape (STAR) website or by calling the statewide crisis hotline at 1-800-478-8999.