Federal Grand Jury Indicts Urbana Man on Child Pornography Charges


PEORIA, Ill. – A federal grand jury today returned an indictment charging Brandon M. Knoff, 32, of the 2002 block of Willow Rd., in Urbana, Illinois, with transportation and possession of child pornography.

The indictment charges Knoff with transportation of child pornography on June 3, 2020, and April 13, 2021, and possession of child pornography on July 26, 2021. According to court documents, the Urbana Police Department received five separate Cybertip referrals after three different social media and cloud storage applications reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that an online social media user possessed and transmitted content believed to be child pornography onto their servers. The user’s internet addresses were connected to Knoff and included his home internet address in Urbana.

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Knoff was previously arrested and charged by criminal complaint on July 27, 2021. Knoff has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson is representing the government in the prosecution. The NCMEC referral was reported to the Illinois Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force and referred to the Urbana Police Department. U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the Urbana Police Department conducted the investigation.

If convicted, the offense of transportation of child pornography (two counts) carries a statutory penalty of at least five years to 20 years in prison; for possession of child pornography, the penalty is up to 10 years in prison.

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Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice initiative led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), to marshal federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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