A former Long Beach police officer has been charged with four federal counts of distributing and possessing child pornography, prosecutors said Thursday.
Anthony Mark Brown, 57, has been charged with three counts of disseminating images of underage girls naked or engaging in sexual acts and one count of possession of child pornography, according to the indictment .
Brown, a 27-year-old veteran of the Long Beach Police Department, possessed a sexually explicit image of a girl under the age of 12, prosecutors said.
Using the social media platform MeWe, whose lax moderation of content made it increasingly popular among conspiracy theorists, Brown shared the footage under the pseudonym “Kristen Funone” between October 2019 and May. 2020, according to the indictment.
It was not clear who represented Brown, and previous attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful. He was released on bail after his arraignment on Wednesday, and a trial has been set for November 23.
If convicted of the charges against him, Brown faces up to 80 years in prison, according to the US attorney’s office in Los Angeles.
Earlier this year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Brown with four counts of possessing or distributing child pornography, but the office agreed to drop those charges and rely on federal prosecution, according to the US attorney’s office. Federal sentencing guidelines are much more stringent than those available under California law.
Long Beach Police began investigating Brown, who was last assigned to a Long Beach airport security service, in May 2020 after receiving anonymous intelligence on a possible crime against a child. He was suspended without pay.
Brown retired a month after the district attorney’s office laid charges against him and will receive a pension of about $ 93,000 a year, according to a Long Beach Post report. Brown’s pension is guaranteed by state law, but with rare exceptions, including if he is convicted of a work-related crime, according to the report.
Prosecutors did not say whether the charges against Brown related to his time as a law enforcement officer. Long Beach police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.