U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
(612) 664-5600
June 10, 2015

Zimmerman Man Found Guilty After Trial of Distribution of Child Pornography

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the conviction after a jury trial of LEVI WAYNE BURNS, 40, for distribution of child pornography. BURNS pleaded on guilty on June 5, 2015, to possession of child pornography in the same case. The defendant was charged by indictment on November 20, 2014, with one count of possession and one count of distribution of child pornography. BURNS was convicted in 2005 in Sherburne County, Minn., for criminal sexual conduct in the third degree for engaging in sexual acts with a 15-year-old female child. A sentencing date on the federal conviction has not yet been determined.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and as proven at trial, in January 2014, BURNS shared electronically several files containing images and videos of child pornography, including a video depicting two female children between the ages of 10 and 14 engaged in sexual acts. BURNS, who lived in the basement of his parents’ home in Sherburne County, operated a large number of computers and related equipment. In fact, BURNS was using so much computer power that he and his parents were using the heat generated by the defendant’s computers to heat their house that winter, which was one of the coldest in recent Minnesota history.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and as proven at trial, BURNS was operating a specially built computer with several hard drives, at least one of which was dedicated to storing and sharing child pornography over the Internet. The defendant also saved thousands of files of child pornography on a separate external hard drive.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, and the Minneapolis Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katharine T. Buzicky and Sarah E. Hudleston are prosecuting the case.

Defendant Information:

LEVI WAYNE BURNS, 40

Zimmerman, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Distribution of child pornography, one count
  • Possession of child pornography, one count
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