KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A former Department of Energy contractor was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography according to a Department of Justice release.

According to the DOJ, David Bryon King, 57, admitted to distributing child pornography to others in 2022 and to possessing it in 2021 and 2022 in a filed plea agreement. During this time, the release states that King was a contractor working as a fire inspector for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The DOJ said that King was identified as making online payments to individuals that were believed to be selling child pornography, which led to agents with the DOE Office of Inspector General interviewing him at his home. In the interview, King admitted that he had child pornography on his smartphone, the release states.

A forensic analysis of King’s phone revealed imaged and video of child pornography and other evidence linking King to attempted distribution of the material, according to the DOJ.

“Protecting children and holding perpetrators accountable is a top priority for the U.S.
Attorney’s Office and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate
and prosecute child exploitation cases,” said United States Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III.

King was sentenced to 121 months in federal prison, and after this he will be on a lifetime of supervised release for the charges of attempted distribution and possession of child pornography, the DOJ release states.

“I commend our agents and our partners at the Department of Justice and the U.S.
Attorney’s Office for investigating and prosecuting such heinous crimes against children,” said
Teri L. Donaldson, Inspector General for the Department of Energy. “Our investigators will
continue doing everything they can to identify and investigate instances of child exploitation
within the Department. Crimes against children have absolutely no place anywhere, and we will
continue working with the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Offices around the country
to investigate and prosecute the offenders.”