URBANA, Ill. – A federal jury found a Rantoul man guilty of possessing child pornography on Thursday.

Prosecutors said Edward Brown, 45, was convicted after a two-day trial at the U.S. Courthouse in Urbana. His sentencing has been scheduled for March 8, 2024, and he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Evidence presented during trial showed that Brown, while on parole for another child pornography offense, was found to be in possession of an unauthorized phone that had several images of child pornography on it. The children in those images were under the age of 12, prosecutors said.

“Possession of child pornography is a crime that perpetually abuses the victim every time that it is possessed and viewed,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory Harris. “We will continue to vigorously prosecute those individuals who victimize our children.”

Brown is currently the custody of the United States Marshal Service. Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation.

“HSI and our law enforcement partners are watching closely for indicators of child exploitation throughout our community,” said Special Agent in Charge Sean Fitzgerald of HSI Chicago. “Today’s guilty verdict is a result of those partnerships and the watchful eyes of all of the dedicated agents and officers involved in not only this but the defendants previous case.”

“The FBI is committed to protecting the innocence of our children,” said FBI Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “Together with our law enforcement partners we work tirelessly to identify, investigate, and hold accountable those intent on harming the most vulnerable members of our community.”

The Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood brought Brown’s case to the forefront. The initiative utilizes federal, state, and local resources to better track down predatory individuals and rescue victims involved of child exploitation.