Council Bluffs Man Michael Brandstrom Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Child Pornography Offenses
(STL.News) – United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum announced on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, United States District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger sentenced Michael Brandstrom, age 29, of Council Bluffs, to 480 months in prison. He was sentenced to 360 months imprisonment for Production of Child Pornography and 120 months to Possession of Child Pornography, to run consecutively. The federal sentence will be served concurrently with his prison sentence in Pottawattamie County State Court for Kidnapping in the Third Degree and Lascivious Acts with a Child. Brandstrom was ordered to serve fifteen years of supervised release to follow his prison term. He was also ordered to pay a $200 special assessment to the Crime Victims’ Fund and $10,500 in restitution to numerous victims.
The charges stem from an investigation initiated by local law enforcement after a mother reported her four-year-old child missing from their apartment in Council Bluffs on September 2, 2019. As Council Bluffs Police Officers searched the apartment complex, Brandstrom brought the missing child out to them. Brandstrom was nervous when questioned by the police, his story was not consistent as to why he did not contact police when he located the child, and the child’s shirt was inside out. Brandstrom had taken the child into his apartment without the consent of her mother and the child disclosed that Brandstrom took pictures of her in his bathroom.
A search warrant was executed on Brandstrom’s apartment and a laptop and two cellular phones were seized for forensic analysis. The analysis of the devices revealed a large number of child pornography images and videos, including those of the child he kidnapped. The analysis of the laptop computer also located communications Mr. Brandstrom had with children from another country where he attempted to sexually exploit them.
This investigation was conducted by the Council Bluffs Police Department and United States Secret Service. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa and the Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office.