Layne Bracht, 32 of Highlands, pleaded guilty in federal court in Camden today to one count as possession of child pornography, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.
Bracht admitted that on Oct. 28, 2013, he knowingly placed images and videos depicting child sexual abuse into shared folders that others could access via a peer-to-peer network. Special agents of the FBI executed a search warrant at his residence in Highlands on Jan. 15, 2014 and seized digital evidence that contained numerous videos and images depicting child sexual abuse, including material involving prepubescent minors and sadistic or masochistic conduct. The digital evidence seized included three files previously downloaded from Bracht by law enforcement agents working in an undercover capacity on the peer-to-peer network.
In 2006, Bracht was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography, a charge to which he subsequently pleaded guilty. On April 2, 2008, U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas sentenced Bracht to 30 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. As a previously convicted sex offender, Bracht now faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 13, 2015.
Bracht has been in federal custody, held without bail, since his arrest in January.