U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
(612) 664-5600
December 4, 2015

Zimmerman Man Sentenced to 252 Months in Prison After Trial Conviction for Distribution of Child Pornography

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the sentencing of LEVI WAYNE BURNS, 40, for distribution and possession of child pornography. BURNS pleaded on guilty on June 5, 2015, to possession of child pornography and was convicted on June 10, 2015, after a jury trial, of one count of distribution of child pornography. The defendant was charged by indictment on November 20, 2014, with one count each of possession and 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. He was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn., before U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and as proven at trial, in January 2014, BURNS shared via a peer-to-peer computer network several files containing 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 an extensive computer system 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 a file sharing program that allowed him to download and share child pornography over the Internet. The defendant also saved thousands of files of child pornography on a separate external hard drive.

This was 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 prosecuted the case.

Defendant Information:

  • Zimmerman, Minn.


  • Distribution of child pornography, 1 count
  • Possession of child pornography, 1 count


  • 252 months in prison
  • 10 years of supervised release
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