Brothers plead guilty to child porn charges

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A pair of brothers from Exeter have pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of child pornography and child exploitation.

Nicholas Bee, 23, pleaded guilty to receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet between Oct. 1, 2008, and Oct. 7, 2010. Stephen Bee, 34, pleaded guilty to exploiting a child victim to produce child pornography on Sept. 5, 2010.

The charges against both brothers were handed down in a Nov. 9, 2010, federal indictment.

The case was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Unit, which includes officers from the Cassville Police Department and Barry County Sheriff's Department.

The investigation was part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual abuse and exploitation. The effort combines federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who use the Internet to exploit children and to rescue the victims of child pornography.

Under federal law, Nicholas Bee is subject to a sentence of five to 15 years in federal prison without parole plus a fine of up to $250,000. Stephen Bee faces a sentence of 15 to 30 years in federal prison without parole and a fine of up to $250,000.

The Bee brothers will be sentenced following the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.

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