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‘I Know I’m Screwed’: Midlands Man Produced Child Porn, Federal Complaint Says

The Amazon employee told police that there is “obviously an issue” with his brain.

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Lexington County

A Lexington County, South Carolina man is facing multiple federal child pornography and sexual abuse charges after police in New Mexico discovered texts and photos he sent to a man in Albuquerque, according to the recently unsealed criminal complaint.

Sean Bandelier, of Gaston, South Carolina, was charged on Aug. 14 with one count of sexual exploitation of children / production of child pornography and two counts of distribution of child pornography, according to South Carolina U.S. Attorney Peter M. McCoy’s office.

Bandelier worked at the Amazon Distribution Center in West Columbia, according to the criminal complaint.

Bandelier was arrested on Aug. 5 by state authorities and charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in the first degree, three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in the second degree, and two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the third degree.

When Albuquerque Police Department detectives were investigating another child pornography case earlier this year, detectives discovered “concerning images” sent to Sergei Von Hoyningen-Huene from Bandelier, according to police.

“New Mexico ICAC Task Force identified Sean Bandelier as a Gaston, South Carolina subject who they believed engaged in, produced, and distributed images of the sexual abuse of a 2-year-old victim,” the affidavit said.

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Posted by Albuquerque Police Department on Friday, August 7, 2020

Bandelier sent a slew of explicit messages to Von Hoyningen-Huene about sexual acts involving children, according to the federal complaint.

According to the criminal complaint, these conversations included:

  • A photo of Bandelier ejaculating onto a two-year old’s penis
  • A photo of Bandelier holding a toddler while exposing and touching his own penis “accompanied with text messages discussing masturbating and touching (the toddler’s) penis.”
  • There were several texts regarding a time and date for (two victims’ names) to be raped by someone named Will.

These conversations/ illegal sexual acts allegedly took place between April and July of 2020.

Police found “approximately 1,391 email / text message correspondences using Google Voice and the Text Now app” between Bandelier and Von Hoyningen-Huene, the complaint says. In one of the messages, Bandelier brags about coercing a small child to perform sex acts with another small child. In another, he says he was sexually abusing a child while watching bestiality videos.

On Aug. 5, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant at Bandelier’s home in Gaston. A woman was home at the time police arrived.

Bandelier was working at Amazon when police were searching the home. The woman who was at Bandelier’s home alerted him via text that they were coming, according to the complaint.

Bandelier had cleared his phone entirely by the time police showed up, according to the complaint. However, officers already had enough evidence from the New Mexico investigation to arrest him.

Officers arrested Bandelier at the Amazon facility in West Columbia.

When he spoke with police after he was advised of his Miranda Rights, he allegedly confessed and said he thought the man in New Mexico was a woman and things got “out of control,” according to the complaint.

“I’m not going to sugar coat it. I f*cked up. I should have known better,” Bandelier told police. “I should have known it was a guy I was probably sending them to.”

See the complaint below…

He said there is “obviously an issue” with his brain, according to the complaint.

“I know what I sent. I`m not going to lie about it. And I know I`m screwed, Bandelier told police, according to the complaint.”I deserved to get caught. Now I face the music.”

Bandelier remains in jail on a $150,000 bond as of Friday afternoon, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office.

The federal charges will be prosecuted by McCoy’s office, which has recently ramped up its efforts to prosecute victim-related crimes, including child trafficking.

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