published Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Tennessee businessman pleads guilty in child pornography case

A Niota, Tenn., businessman accused of making and transporting pornography featuring underage girls who were drugged and photographed in 2012 has agreed to plead guilty to two of 11 counts the U.S. government brought against him in September.

Terry Lynn Hayes agreed to the plea last week to transporting pornography involving a minor and knowingly giving minors -- three girls aged 14, 15 and 16 -- cocaine and Xanax, according to U.S. court documents.

Those offenses occurred on Aug. 5, 2012, court documents state.

In the plea agreement, Hayes admitted to picking up the three girls in Dayton, Tenn., then driving them to his Niota home, where he gave them drugs and took sexually explicit photos of two of them on a bed.

Court documents state that Hayes knew the girls were minors and admitted to texting sexually explicit photos of two of them to someone in Quantico, Va.

Hayes faces a minimum sentence of one year and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison on the most serious offense of providing drugs to a person under 21. He also could be fined up to $2.25 million. He also has to register as a sex offender in the jurisdictions where he lives and works and be under supervised release for a minimum of six years.

Hayes lives in Niota and operates a dirt works business there, and he also operates a similar business in Harvey, La., records show.

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