Brandon Earl Bankston, a former member of the U.S. Air Force stationed at the Malmstrom Air Force Base, was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for his involvement in a child pornography scheme.

Guilty Plea and Sentence

Bankston, aged 23, pleaded guilty in October 2023 to charges of possession with intent to sell child pornography.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided over the case, ordering Bankston to pay $60,000 in restitution to victims.

Although over 20 victims have been identified in the investigation, only 20 have requested restitution thus far.

Case Details

Court documents revealed that Bankston obtained child sexual abuse material (CSAM) from various online sources and stored it in an offshore, cloud-based storage account.

He then utilized mobile messaging apps and fake online profiles to advertise and sell the illicit material to strangers on the internet.

Payments were received through electronic wire transfers, granting access to the stored content upon completion of transactions.

The government alleged that Bankston possessed and traded thousands of images and videos depicting child sexual abuse, including incidents involving toddlers.

The investigation commenced in the summer of 2021 when the Great Falls Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was alerted to the uploading of CSAM videos by a suspect in Montana.

Further inquiry linked a Snapchat user with a Montana address to Bankston, an active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force at the time.

Connection To Malmstorm

Bankston, who was assigned to the 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base, has since been discharged and is no longer associated with the U.S. Air Force.

He received approximately $6,750 from 42 separate transactions involving the sale of CSAM.

Read Next: Washington Man Convicted For Illegal Drug Trafficking In Montana

Cascade County/Great Falls Crimestoppers Most Wanted for March 2024

Each month the Crimestoppers release the most wanted across the city and county. You can be a tipster and possibly eligible for a cash reward from them.

Gallery Credit: JD Knight

The 10 Towns With The Absolutely Lowest Crime In Montana

These are the 10 towns that have the lowest crime rate in Montana, making them the safest towns to live in according to New Home Source.

Gallery Credit: Nick Northern

Great Falls/Cascade County Crimestoppers Most Wanted February 2024

Each month the Great Falls/Cascade County Crimestoppers release the most wanted criminals in the city and county. These criminals make the list for February 2024.

Gallery Credit: JD Knight

More From KMON Country 560 AM