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Man pleads guilty in case with nearly 4,000 porn images

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WILLMAR, Minn. -- A plea agreement was reached Tuesday in Kandiyohi County District Court for a 38-year-old Willmar man charged with possessing child pornography downloaded from the Internet.

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Stephen Titrud pleaded guilty to one felony count of possession of electronic pornography images and an amended count of possessing child pornography in violation of state statute.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 8.

As part of the plea agreement, the county attorney’s office said it will limit its sentencing request to the middle of the penalty range.

Titrud was arrested this year after an investigation uncovered nearly 4,000 images and videos of child pornography on his computer. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified 540 of the images as belonging to 114 children known to be victims of exploitation.

The investigation began in 2011 when agents with the Internet Crimes Against Children division launched a program that automatically trolls suspected IP addresses for pornography. A video showing child pornography allegedly was downloaded via file sharing from an IP address identified as belonging to Titrud. A search warrant was issued for his computer and hundreds of pornographic images of children were subsequently found, according to the complaint filed against him in court.

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