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Man gets 5 years in child porn case

A Lincoln County man will spend five years behind bars on childpornography charges, Attorney General Jim Hood’s office saidThursday.

Benjamin Dale Russell, 21, 1838 Fresno Lane, pleaded guiltybefore Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge David Strong Wednesday totwo counts of the exploitation of a child after he was found withchild pornography.

Russell was sentenced on the first count to 10 years, with fiveyears suspended and five years to serve, and to 20 years on thesecond count, with 15 years suspended and five years to serve. Thesentences are to be served concurrently, meaning Russell will spendfive years behind bars for his crime, said AG Public AffairsOfficer Jan Schaefer.

Russell will be required to register as a sex offender with theMississippi Department of Corrections upon his release from prison,with five years of post-release supervision. He was fined $50,000,plus ordered to pay court costs, $500 to the Crime Victim’sCompensation Fund and $500 to the Cyber Crime Unit.

Schaeffer said the investigation into Russell began when theNational Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped off theAG’s Cyber Crime Unit that Russell had posted child pornography ona Yahoo group site. Further investigation found that Russell viewedand possessed child pornography, but had also posted it on theInternet.

“We prefer to give out as little information on the victims aspossible, to protect their privacy,” Schaeffer said. “I can tellyou he did not know the two children involved in the counts he pledto.”

AG’s officials declined to comment on if the children inRussell’s pornography were from the Brookhaven or Lincoln Countyarea.

Schaeffer said a forensic examination of Russell’s computershowed that he possessed numerous images of child pornography. Shesaid there were at least two different children in the photos.

“He pled to two felony counts of possession of child porn,” shesaid. “He possessed two different pictures of two differentchildren.”