Sentencing in three child exploitation cases announced

Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced sentencing in three cases prosecuted by the Cyber Crime Division of the Attorney General’s Office in the past two months.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch (Official photo)

“Targeting children is repulsive. I will remain vigilant in protecting the most vulnerable members of our society,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “I thank the hard-working investigators and prosecutors for stopping these child-predators from continuing to harm the innocent.”

The first case originated from a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Investigators of the Cyber Crime Division used investigative techniques to determine that a computer crime had occurred in Amory. After obtaining a search warrant, investigators were able to determine that the defendant possessed 92 images of child sexual abuse material.

Gordon Hopkins, 56, pled guilty to one count of child exploitation and was sentenced on Monday, February 1 by Monroe County Circuit Judge John R. White to six years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. He will be subject to five years supervised probation upon release from incarceration and was ordered to pay a $1,000 assessment to the Mississippi Children’s Trust Fund, $1,000 to the Mississippi Crime Victims Compensation Fund, and all court costs.

The second case originated from a tip from the NCMEC. Investigators of the Cyber Crime Division used investigative techniques to determine that a computer crime had occurred in Crystal Springs. After obtaining a search warrant, investigators were able to determine that the defendant possessed over 425 images of child sexual abuse material.

Julian Orozco, 53, pled guilty to one count of child exploitation and was sentenced on Monday, February 22 by Copiah County Circuit Judge Tomika Irving to five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. He will be subject to five years supervised probation upon release from incarceration and was ordered to pay a $1,000 assessment to the Mississippi Children’s Trust Fund, $1,000 to the Mississippi Crime Victims Compensation Fund, and all court costs.

The third case originated from a CyberTipline Report from the NCMEC reporting the presence of child sexual abuse material located within a specified user account. During a recorded interview, the defendant confessed to the knowing possession of 263 images of child sexual abuse material.

James McErnest Bryant, 28, pled guilty to one count of child exploitation and was sentenced on Thursday, March 11 by Forrest County Circuit Judge Robert Helfrich to eight years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. He will be subject to five years supervised probation upon release from incarceration and was ordered to pay a $1,000 assessment to the Mississippi Children’s Trust Fund, $1,000 to the Mississippi Crime Victims Compensation Fund, a $250 assessment to the Forrest County Public Defenders’ Fund, and all court costs.

All three will be required to register as sex offenders and will be required to serve their sentences day-for-day without the possibility of parole.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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