A Montana man who admitted looking for child pornography on his laptop while staying at a Rapid City motel is now facing up to 10 years in federal prison.

A Minnehaha County sheriff’s deputy was conducting an online undercover investigation when he made contact with Michael C. Blackburn, 63, of Belgrade, Mont., on a file-sharing network called Gigatribe. Detective Derik Kuchenreuther joined the site as a Gigatribe "friend" to learn more about Blackburn, according to court documents.

Becoming friends with someone on Gigatribe is the only way to  download files from another Gigatribe user.

After an exchange of "niceties," court documents said Blackburn shifted the conversation to child pornography.

Responding to the investigator’s questions, Blackburn gave graphic descriptions of his preferences for child pornography and his interest in young children. He also expressed a desire for “hard core and extreme rape pics and vids,” according to the factual basis statement accompanying his plea.

When pressed by Kuchenreuther, Blackburn explained he was continuing to look for more pornography. He denied ever having sex with a child, but said he wanted to, adding his age preference was "about four."

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Police investigators traced Blackburn through an Internet provider address to the Time Inn Motel on East North Street where he was arrested in April, according to court documents.

Blackburn’s laptop computer was seized by investigators. A forensic investigation of the computer produced 746 images of child pornography on the laptop, 64 videos and 25 temporary files. Blackburn also had hundreds of cartoon images on his computer.

Blackburn entered a guilty plea to one count of possession of child pornography. A charge for distribution of child pornography and a second count of possession of child pornography were dismissed. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in February.

Contact Andrea Cook at 394-8423 or andrea.cook@rapidcityjournal.com

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