LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A North Carolina man was sentenced to 170 months in prison and 15 years of supervised release on Thursday for his role in the sexual exploitation of minors.

Robert Hoyt Reece, 39, was identified in a multi-state effort involving the Charlotte division of the FBI.

FBI agents received information from an out-of-state law enforcement agency about a person in Lexington, North Carolina, in possession of child pornography and in communication with minors across the country.

The FBI and Davidson County Sheriff’s Office identified Reece as that person and executed a search warrant at his home in April of 2021. During that search, multiple devices containing pornographic images and videos of children were confiscated.

Reece admitted to having used multiple devices and applications to access child pornography and was determined by investigators to have been in contact with two out-of-state minors who he was soliciting sexually-explicit images from.

In October of 2021, Reece was charged in the Middle District of North Carolina with the following:

  • One count coercion or enticement of a minor
  • Two counts of sexual exploitation of children
  • One count of possession of child pornography
  • Two counts of sexual exploitation of minors

In January of 2022, Reece pleaded guilty to one count of receiving child pornography and was ordered to pay $23,000 in restitution to his victims.

The Department of Justice released the following statement on the case:

“This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lindsey Freeman and Kennedy Gates. It was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat online child sexual exploitation and abuse. The initiative is led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and focuses on coordinating federal, state, and local resources to better identify and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. www.projectsafechildhood.gov.”