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Forum staff reports, Published December 03 2012

Fargo man pleads guilty to federal child porn charges

FARGO – A 30-year-old Fargo man charged with possessing more than 200,000 images and 1,000 videos of child pornography pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday.

John Robert Ehlen pleaded guilty to one count of receiving materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors and three counts of possession of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors, according to a news release from Timothy Purdon, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota.

Ehlen will be sentenced on Feb. 20 in U.S. District Court.

The maximum penalty for receiving child pornography is 20 years in prison, with a five-year mandatory minimum.

State investigators became privy to Ehlen’s collection after conducting a routine online investigation of IP addresses known to be sharing child pornography.

In January, Fargo police executed a search warrant on Ehlen’s home and he reportedly admitted to using a peer-to-peer sharing software program to search for, view and download the files, some of them containing children as young as 6 years old.