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FORMER YOUTH MINISTER PLEADS IN CHILD PORN CASE

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By Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former youth minister in Los Alamos has pleaded guilty in federal court to distribution of child pornography.

Authorities said 58-year-old Matthew Nichols, formerly employed at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, entered a plea agreement Friday before U.S. Magistrate Daniel Schneider.

Nichols faces 15 to 40 years in prison at sentencing.

The investigation started when the New Mexico Attorney General's Office received a tip in September 2009 that an IP address was being used to distribute child pornography. The address was traced back to the Los Alamos church. Investigators also traced child porn back to Nichols at his home computer.

Forensic examinations revealed 1,465 images and 186 videos depicting child porn were captured.

More details to follow on this developing story...