PINE BELT (WDAM) - Two Pine Belt men will spend at least the next decade behind bars after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography and child exploitation charges.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood announced Christopher Britt, 37, of Petal, and Timothy Cochran, 51, of McLain, were sentenced Tuesday in Forrest County Circuit Court.
Britt pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. He was arrested in January after a report from Twitter alerted attorney general investigators he posted images to his account of children being sexually abused.
According to the Attorney General's Office, when investigators responded, they found numerous other images and videos in his possession. The images posted online and in his possession ranged from those of toddlers to teenagers.
Cochran, 51, of McLain, was arrested in August of 2014 after the mother of a Forrest County 10-year-old found he had been asking her daughter to send him nude pictures of herself over text message. Cochran posed as a classmate of the girl's, and after multiple attempts of telling the child what types of nude pictures to send, Cochran did not receive the images he wanted.
Cochran pleaded guilty to one count of child exploitation Tuesday.
Judge Jon Mark Weathers sentenced both men to 40 years in prison with 10 years to serve and 30 years post-release supervision. They must register as sex offenders and cannot have contact with victims in these cases.
Additionally, they must both pay $1,000 to the Crime Victim Compensation Fund and $1,000 to the Children's Trust Fund.
"These two cases are perfect examples of why we stress to parents the importance of knowing what your child is looking at on their phone," said General Hood in a press release. "The digital world in which we live can be dangerous to our children with people like this out there, and the first thing we as parents can do to protect our children from predators is to be aware and talk with them about being careful on the internet."