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Council Bluffs man sentenced to 40 years in prison on child porn charges
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Council Bluffs man sentenced to 40 years in prison on child porn charges

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A Council Bluffs man convicted of being in possession of child pornography will be spending years behind bars.

Michael Brandstrom, 29, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Christina Goodgame Ebinger to 30 years imprisonment for producing child pornography and 10 years for being in possession of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

The sentences will run consecutively – one after the other. The federal sentence, court records show, is running concurrently, or simultaneously, with the defendant’s prison sentence in Pottawattamie County for third-degree kidnapping and committing lascivious acts with a child.

Following release, court records show Brandstrom is required to complete 15 years of post-release supervision. He is also being ordered to pay a $200 special assessment to the Crime Victims’ Fund and $10,500 in restitution to numerous victims.

The charges stem from an investigation initiated by local law enforcement after a mother reported her 4-year-old child missing from their apartment in Council Bluffs on Sept. 2, 2019. As Council Bluffs Police officers searched the apartment complex, Brandstrom brought the missing child out to them, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Brandstrom was reportedly nervous when questioned by the police, his story was not consistent as to why he did not contact police when he located the child and the child’s shirt was inside out. Brandstrom had taken the child into his apartment without the consent of his or her mother and the child disclosed that Brandstrom took pictures of the minor in his bathroom.

A search warrant was executed on Brandstrom’s apartment and a laptop and two cell phones were seized for forensic analysis, court records show. The analysis of the devices revealed a large number of child pornography images and videos, including those of the child he kidnapped.

The analysis of the laptop computer also identified communication Brandstrom had with children from another country where he attempted to sexually exploit them. This investigation was conducted by the Council Bluffs Police Department and United States Secret Service.

The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa and the Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office.

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