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A Safford man has beens sentenced 17 years in federal prison for distribution and possession of child pornography.

Wayne Montierth, 54, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Tucson by U.S. District Judge James A. Soto, a news release from the U.S. Attorney in Arizona said.

A jury found  Montierth guilty of four counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. His prison term will be followed by lifetime supervised release with stringent sex offender conditions, including the requirement that he register as a sex offender, the news release said.

A 2015 investigation by agents with the FBI's Sierra Vista office found Montierth was distributing sexually explicit images of children online using file-sharing software. A search of bis computer turned up thousands of images and videos depicting child sex abuse.

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The man's activities were part of on-going pattern of sexual abuse of children, the sentencing judge found.