A former Sumter County Sheriff's employee will spend close to 20 years in a federal prison on sex and child pornography charges.
Thomas Conrad Lowery, 48, of Americus was also sentenced Thursday to a lifetime of supervised release for transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, receiving child pornography and possessing child pornography, said a spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Justice. Convicted Jan. 31 by a jury, the former computer information specialist with the sheriff's office was found guilty of all charges levied against him.
Prosecutors argued Lowery contacted a child actor in 2001 over the Internet, arranging to meet the minor and her sibling in Los Angeles. He paid for lodgings and the plane ticket from Florida, meeting the girl in June 2001 and having sexual relations with her, the spokesperson said.
Jurors also heard allegations that Lowery transported a child in July 2000 from Georgia to Toronto, where similar acts occurred. Initially charged with that act, the U.S. Attorney's Office dropped it during their prosecution, though evidence from it was presented at trial, the spokesperson said.
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The girls were 11- and 16-years-old.
Child pornography, received between January 2002 and July 19, 2004, was found on Lowery's work computer, the spokesperson said. Employed by the sheriff's office in 1998, Lowery's employment ended in July 2004.