A federal judge this week sentenced a Raleigh man to more than 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.
Stephen Glenn Batts, 48, was sentenced Wednesday to 151 months behind bars, followed by 10 years of supervised release.
Chief U.S. District Court Judge James C. Dever III handed down the sentence, which was announced Thursday by Robert Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Batts was targeted by federal authorities on Sept. 8, when he was was named in a 10-count Indictment.
Months later, on Jan. 23, Batts pleaded guilty to nine counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, Higdon said in a news release.
In December 2016, a Cary police detective conducted an online investigation into child pornography. The detective located and downloaded 735 files being shared by an IP address that was later linked to Batts.
Most of the files — 598 — were child pornography , and other others were "child erotic in nature but not sexual conduct," Higdon said.
Most of the files "were of sexual acts with infants, toddlers, and children under 6 years old," Higdon said.
Local investigators contacted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations in Raleigh. Federal agents first identified the physical address associated with the IP address and obtained a search warrant for Batts' home.
Batts first denied but later admitted that he had searched for and downloaded child pornography from his laptop computers. He told the agents that he first began looking at child pornography in 2002. He said he also viewed child pornography in webinars and acknowledged that he received child pornography over the internet.
The agents' investigation eventually revealed about 962 videos and 39,078 images of child pornography on Batt's computers. The agents also reviewed the devices' hard drives and found "numerous" known internet search terms associated with child pornography, Higdon said.
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