A grand jury in Fresno returned an indictment Thursday against Michael Brandon Kiper, 29, of Lemoore, charging him with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of receipt of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said.
According to court documents, Kiper, who had been assigned duties as a military police officer at the Lemoore Naval Air Station, and while on temporary assignments in Nevada and Bahrain, used accounts on Kik Messenger, Instagram and Facebook to solicit sexually explicit images of numerous minor females.
The case started in early January in Pennsburg, Pa., when a 14-year-old girl sent an explicit photo of herself via Kik text messaging service to someone named "James White" -- later identified as Kiper, court documents said -- who threatened to post it online if she didn't send him more pictures.
Kiper was apprehended in Oklahoma and transported via military custody to San Diego. He has since been taken into federal custody, and a magistrate judge in San Diego has ordered him detained. He will appear in federal court in Fresno once he is transported from San Diego.
If convicted, Kiper faces a maximum sentence for each of the two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor of 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime term of supervised release. The maximum sentence for each of the two receipt of child pornography charges are 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime term of supervised release.