Pine Belt Men Plead Guilty in Child Exploitation Cases
Two southeast Mississippi men were sentenced Tuesday in Forrest County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography and child exploitation charges, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.
Christopher Britt, 37, of Petal, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography, and Timothy Cochran, 51, of McLain, pleaded guilty to one count of child exploitation. Judge Jon Mark Weathers sentenced both men to 40 years in prison with 10 years to serve and 30 years post-release supervision. They must register as sex offenders and cannot have contact with victims in these cases. Additionally, they must both pay $1,000 to the Crime Victim Compensation Fund and $1,000 to the Children’s Trust Fund.
Britt was arrested in January after a report from social-media platform Twitter alerted attorney general investigators he posted images to his account of children being sexually abused. When investigators responded, they found numerous other images and videos in his possession. The images posted online and in his possession ranged from those of toddlers to teenagers.
Cochran was arrested in August 2014 after the mother of a Forrest County 10-year-old found he had been asking her daughter to send him nude pictures of herself over text message. Cochran posed as a classmate of the girl’s, and after multiple attempts of telling the child what types of nude pictures to send, Cochran did not receive the images he wanted.
“These two cases are perfect examples of why we stress to parents the importance of knowing what your child is looking at on their phone,” said General Hood. “The digital world in which we live can be dangerous to our children with people like this out there, and the first thing we as parents can do to protect our children from predators is to be aware and talk with them about being careful on the internet.”
These cases were investigated by the AG’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force with assistance from the Petal Police Department, which is an ICAC affiliate. The cases were prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn with the AG’s Cybercrime Unit.