Brandon Gressette

Brandon Gressette. Cannon Detention Center/Provided

A Summerville man has been sentenced to 40 years in federal prison for his role in an international child porn ring that authorities said targeted girls as young as 10 years old. 

Brandon Gressette, 34, was one of seven men from around the country sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel in downtown Charleston, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Gressette, who was arrested in 2015, had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce child pornography and two counts of producing child pornography. He will be supervised for life after completing his prison term. 

Authorities said Gressette and men from Michigan, Maryland, Georgia, Colorado, Utah, Missouri and New Jersey pretended to be minors to entice vulnerable girls to produce child pornography in 2014 and 2015.

The men used a password-protected website to identify social media profiles of girls who they would convince to engage in sexually explicit conduct via web camera. The men would then share the videos on their website. 

The victims were led to believe they were talking with boys and girls their own age. They were not aware they were communicating with men who were recording them.

One of Gressette's victims was under the age of 12, authorities said.

To date, authorities have identified 91 victims from 28 states and Canada.

The defendants were ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to one victim and $98,715 to another victim. Gressette was ordered to pay an additional $2,000 to two victims. 

Reach Angie Jackson at 843-937-5705. Follow her on Twitter at @angiejackson23

Angie Jackson covers crime and breaking news for The Post and Courier. She previously covered the same beat for the Grand Rapids Press and MLive.com in Michigan. When she’s not reporting, Angie enjoys teaching yoga and exploring the outdoors.