Get our free mobile app

Minneapolis (KROC AM News) -  An Austin man will be locked up for years for a federal child pornography conviction.

A federal judge Friday sentenced 53-year-old Phillip Koontz to 20 years in prison.

He pleaded guilty in January to one count of distributing child pornography.

Koontz was caught in a federal sting in 2018 when he thought he was chatting online with a 13-year-old girl. It was actually a federal agent. He sent the agent numerous images containing sexually explicit content involving minors. He indicated the images were of his daughter and her friends.

Investigators also possessed 478 sexually explicit images depicting minors, including prepubescent minors.

After serving his time, Koontz will be under supervised release for another 20 years.

“The sexual exploitation of children is a heinous crime, one deserving of a lengthy prison sentence,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Anders Folk. “Here in Minnesota, we are fortunate to have dedicated federal, state, and local investigators who are committed to seeking justice for those who abuse and exploit innocent children.”

“This repeat offender will spend the next 20 years behind bars,” said Jamie Holt, acting special agent in charge of HSI St. Paul. “Community safety is our top priority and hopefully this lengthy sentence will give peace of mind to his victims and their families. HSI special agents will continue to work with our Minnesota law enforcement partners, like the Austin police, to relentlessly pursue child predators and ensure they are brought to justice.”

News update: Minneapolis settles George Floyd lawsuit - for $27,000,000.

11 Things That Happen In The Spring That Minnesotans Don't Like

We love that the weather is getting warmer in Minnesota but there are a few things about Spring that don't bring us joy. A few things actually make us gag because it is a nasty job,