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A former U.S. Marine and Camp Pendleton firefighter was sentenced in federal court in San Diego Monday to more than 17 years in prison for possession of child pornography.

William Francis Walsh IV, 55, of Vista was convicted in February of two counts of distribution and one count of possession of images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to Kelly Thornton, the director of media relations for the Office of the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of California.

Walsh was arrested in May 2017, based upon his use of “a peer-to-peer file-sharing program to distribute and download the images,” Thornton said.

Officers from the Escondido Police Department testified at Walsh’s four-day trial about items seized at his house and evidence that “showed Walsh had downloaded hundreds of files with names indicative of child pornography,” Thornton said.

Walsh’s conduct was “on the extreme end of the cases I have seen,” U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia said.

Walsh’s attorney said his client continues to dispute the charges.

–City News Service