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Man, 55, admits guilt to 2 child porn counts


A 55-year-old Fort Wayne man admitted to distributing and possessing child pornography.

On Thursday, Michael Watkins pleaded guilty to both counts of a two-count indictment issued a year ago by a U.S. District Court grand jury in Fort Wayne.

As part of his plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Watkins faces more than 10 years in prison when he is sentenced. He also agreed to forfeit a computer, an external hard drive and nine CDs, according to court documents.

In October 2011, Watkins was arrested by agents with the Department of Homeland Security on charges of possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.

Investigators with the Cyber Crimes Center found a Web address linked to Watkins, advertising sexually explicit images of children. They searched the home where Watkins was staying and found external hard drives, CD-ROMs and a computer that contained images of minors engaged in explicit sex, according to court documents.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. The nationwide initiative, which aims to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.