A Harnett County couple was sentenced to lengthy terms in federal prison Thursday for manufacturing child pornography.
U.S. District Court Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced Bailey Joe Mills, 34, to 45 years behind bars. His wife, Elizabeth Mills, 35, was sentenced to 16 years.
After his release from prison, Bailey Mills will spend the rest of his life under federal supervision, while his wife was ordered to have 10 years of supervision after her release. The Mills were both ordered to register as sex offenders, according to U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker’s office.
Federal agents charged Bailey Mills last June, then charged his wife in October with aiding and abetting the manufacturing of child pornography. Bailey Mills pleaded guilty to the charges on August 12, and his wife pleaded guilty on November 12, Walker’s office said.
Federal authorities launched an investigation into the couple’s activities following reports of sexual abuse of a 12-year-old at the Mills’ home outside Sanford. According to Walker’s office, federal agents determined that Bailey Mills had sexually abused at least 10 other minors and that he had paid several of them to have sex with himself and other men.
The officers used search warrants to seize computers, cellphones and media storage devices from the couple’s home. Investigators found “still images and videos depicting the minors engaged in prohibited sexual conduct,” according to the prosecutor’s office.