Officials: Pair concocted 'plot' to sexually exploit 8-year-old girl

Charles Brandon Powell, 33, of Hephzibah, and Carrie Marie Minton, 25, of Cordoba, S.C., pled guilty Monday, July 8, to one count of Production of Child Pornography. (Source: WRDW)
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Monday, July 8, 2019

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- A couple pleaded guilty Monday to a child pornography charge after the U.S. Attorney's office said they concocted a "plot" to sexually exploit an 8-year-old girl.

Charles Brandon Powell, 33, and Carrie Marie Minton, 25, are both charged with one count of production of child pornography.

The details of the alleged plot were spelled out in a release from U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine.

“The facts of this case are sickening and disturbing, revealing a cesspool of cooperative depravity,” said Christine in a statement. “Quick action from our federal and state law enforcement partners halted this scheme in the early stages, thankfully sparing further exploitation of two innocent children.”

According to Christine, Powell and Minton discussed their plan online. Minton, investigators said, planned to bring the 8-year-old girl from Neeses, SC to Powell's home in Hephzibah.

The alleged plot was uncovered, according to investigators, after Minton sent a sexually explicit photo of a 5-month-old girl to Powell. The photo managed to draw attention from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who alerted authorities.

“This case is an excellent example of how partnerships between the FBI and our state and local law enforcement agencies are essential in protecting our citizens and in particular, children, our most vulnerable citizens,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta FBI. “Keeping our children safe is a top priority for this office and I thank law enforcement for their quick work on this matter.”

Minton and Powell are now awaiting a sentencing hearing. They could both face a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years, followed by supervised release of five years to life.