FOREST, Miss. (AP) -
43-year-old Edwin Jay Bradford was sentenced to prison Monday after pleading guilty in Scott County Circuit Court to child exploitation.
Judge Christopher A. Collins sentenced Bradford to 40 years in prison with 30 of those years suspended, leaving 10 years to serve.
Bradford was arrested in August 2016 in Forest by investigators with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit, with assistance of the Scott County Sheriff's Office and the Sebastopol Police Department.
According to the attorney general's office, an investigation revealed that at the time of his arrest, Bradford was traveling to meet a 14-year-old girl in Forest that he had been communicating with online for the purpose of engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
“When criminals take to the internet with the intent to exploit our children, one of the best technological tools of our time can turn into one of the most dangerous,” Attorney General Jim Hood said. “The Internet opens the door for predators like this defendant to take advantage of our children, and we must remain vigilant to protect our kids from harm.”
Bradford was also ordered to pay $1,000 to the Mississippi Children’s Trust Fund and $1,000 to the Mississippi Crime Victim Compensation Fund. He must register as a sex offender after he's released from prison.