Former Long Beach cop admits distributing child pornography

A former Long Beach police officer has pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography, with at least one instance occurring while on duty, authorities said.

Anthony Mark Brown, 57, of Lakewood, was charged in September with federal child pornography charges, including three counts of distributing images of underage girls and one count of possession of child pornography.

Months earlier, Brown had been charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office with four counts of possessing or distributing child pornography, but those charges were dropped in favor of the federal case, which features tougher sentencing guidelines.

Brown pleaded guilty to a distribution chief on Monday, admitting to distributing sexually explicit images of girls in 2019 and 2020, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

“From October 2019 to May 2020, Brown also knowingly possessed a sexually explicit image of a girl who appeared to be 11 or 12 years old,” the statement read.

Brown was investigated in May 2020 when Long Beach police received an anonymous tip regarding a possible crime against a child. The veteran officer, last assigned to security duty at the Long Beach airport, has been suspended without pay.

He used his smartphone, sometimes on duty, to log into the messaging app of the social media site MeWe, where he shared child pornography, prosecutors said.

In a statement sent to The Times last fall, MeWe said Brown was removed from his platform and reported to authorities.

Brown retired in April 2021, a month after being charged in Los Angeles County, and was then entitled to a $93,000 annual pension, the Long Beach Post reported. The pension is guaranteed by state law but can be revoked in rare circumstances, such as a work-related felony conviction, the Post said.

Brown is due to be sentenced on July 25. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years.

Los Angeles Times

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