Special to Iredell Free News

CHARLOTTE – A former Iredell County resident was sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison on Thursday after being convicted of sharing child pornography.

U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced Brian Scott Harden, 39, to 210 months in prison on child pornography charges, was ordered to pay a $5,000 special assessment, serve a lifetime term of supervised release, and register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.

Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, joined John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina, and Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell in announcing the sentence.

According to court documents and information introduced at the sentencing hearing, law enforcement became aware that on June 13, 2018, that Harden was distributing child pornography to another individual via “Skype,” an internet messaging app that allows users to video chat and share messages, images, and videos.

Law enforcement executed a search at Harden’s residence on Chestnut Grove Road and seized multiple computer devices, cellular phones and a CD. A forensic analysis of the seized items revealed that Harden possessed more than 600 images of child pornography, including images of children under 12, and material depicting the violent, sadistic or masochistic sexual abuse of children.

As Harden admitted in filed court documents, prior to his arrest, he had been sending and receiving child pornography online for at least two years. Harden further admitted that he frequently visited websites and chat rooms online to locate and download child pornography, and to trade images with other individuals.

On September 12, 2019, Harden pleaded guilty to distribution and attempted distribution of child pornography. Harden is currently in federal custody. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the FBI and the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office for their investigation of this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Wasserman prosecuted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney
Mark Odulio represented the Government at the sentencing hearing.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in
2006 by the Department of Justice, aimed at combating the growing online sexual exploitation of
children. By combining resources, federal, state and local agencies are better able to locate,
apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify
and rescue those victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit

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