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Assistant principal accused of using social media to talk to kids now faces child porn charges

Charges say he posed as a young teen named Brett Larson to talk to middle school kids.

An assistant principal accused of setting up fake social media profiles to talk to kids is now facing federal child pornography charges.

When investigators searched Brandon Bjerknes' devices earlier this year, they found "multiple sexually explicit photos and videos" of more than 50 kids, including some students who went to Bemidji Middle School, where he was the assistant principal, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota says.

Prosecutors allege Bjerknes, 34, would pose as "Brett Larson," a 13- to 15-year-old, on different social media accounts to talk to middle and high school-aged girls and boys. He would have "sexually explicit conversations" with them, and he would tell them to send him sexually explicit photos, charges say.

Bjerknes, who resigned from Bemidji Area Schools earlier this year, was taken into custody Tuesday. The U.S. Attorney's Office has now charged him with two counts of producing child porn, one count of distributing child porn, and one count of attempting to coerce and entice a minor.

He was previously arrested and charged in March by the Beltrami County Attorney's Office with engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child.

Investigators believe there may be more victims in connection to this case, so anyone with information is asked to call the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office at 218-333-9111 – anyone who calls may stay anonymous. 

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