Trevor Dylan Lehew, 28, of Plano, Texas, United States and El Paso, Texas residents Steven George Sperling, 36, and Brendan Jacob Bradford, 26, are former soldiers. They were stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Being former Fort Bliss soldiers is not the only significant thing Lehew, Sperling and Bradford have in common. The three men have been charged with crimes involving children and sexual abuse.
Trevor Dylan Lehew
While stationed at Fort Bliss as an active-duty soldier, Lehew repeatedly sexually abused a child, then 6, at a home at the military installation between November 2014 an December 2015. In 2020, he was arrested for abusing two other minor children.
Lehew was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child in Dallas County, Texas. He was sentenced to 20 years in a Texas state prison.
In December 2021, a federal grand jury indicted Lehew on an aggravated sexual abuse of a child charge. He was serving a Texas state sentence when he was arrested in January 2022.
On August 8, 2022, Lehew pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison.
Steven George Sperling
While married with six children, Sperling viewed child pornography ranging from babies to teenagers. He took photos of a new girl, then 2, and shared them with another person on a pedophile chat room in a mobile messaging app. The person was actually an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.
Sperling was an active-duty U.S. Army soldier when FBI agents searched his home at Fort Bliss and arrested him on July 18, 2019. When questioned by federal agents, he admitted to the crimes.
In July 2021, Sperling pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography in U.S. District Court in El Paso. On April 13, 2022, he was convicted and sentenced to 17 years in federal prison.
Brendan Jacob Bradford
Using the moniker of sicktwisted_(expletive), Bradford joined private online forums sharing child sexual abuse material on the Kik social messaging app in October 2021. In the groups, he claimed to be a social studies teacher with desires to kidnap and sexually abuse children.
But Bradford is not actually a teacher. At the time, he was a staff sergeant stationed at Fort Bills.
An undercover investigator with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin, USA infiltrated the private groups and started communicating with Bradford in December 2021. Before admitting that he was in El Paso, he claimed to be from the United Kingdom.
Bradford sent 14 images and videos in the private groups and in private messages to the undercover investigator. On March 22, 2022, FBI agents arrested him at his apartment in El Paso and he was booked into the El Paso County Jail in El Paso without bond.