Public Safety

Iowa man sentenced to 40 years in prison for producing child porn

Federal charges stem from kidnapping and sex abuse of 4-year-old girl

A Council Bluffs man was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison this week for producing and possessing child pornography.

Michael Brandstrom, 29, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to 360 months for production of child pornography and 120 months for possession of child pornography, sentences that were run consecutively for a total of 480 months.

The federal sentence will be served concurrently with his 10-year sentence in Pottawattamie County District Court for third-degree kidnapping and lascivious acts with a child.

Brandstrom also was sentenced to serve 15 years of supervised release after prison and pay $10,500 in restitution to numerous victims.

The charges stem from an investigation after a mother reported her 4-year-old child missing from their apartment in Council Bluffs on Sept. 2, 2019.

As police searched the apartment complex, Brandstrom brought the missing child out to them.

According to police, Brandstrom was nervous when they questioned him, and his account wasn’t consistent as to why he hadn’t contacted police when he located the child. The child’s shirt was inside out, police said.

The child told authorities that Brandstrom took pictures of her in his bathroom.

A search warrant was obtained for Brandstrom’s apartment, according to prosecutors, where a laptop and two cellphones were found and seized for forensic analysis.

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The analysis revealed a large number of child pornography images and videos, including those of the child he kidnapped.

Investigators also found communications Brandstrom had with children from another country where he attempted to sexually exploit them.

The investigation was conducted by the Council Bluffs Police Department and U.S. Secret Service. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office.

Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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