ST. CHARLES, Mo. — A St. Charles man was sentenced Wednesday to six and a half years in prison for possessing thousands of images and hundreds of videos containing child pornography.

Marcus E. Gardner, 48, was also ordered to pay $78,000 in restitution to victims who authorities have identified.

Gardner pleaded guilty in March to a charge of possession of child pornography. Investigators found approximately 11,000 images and 500 videos of child sexual abuse on Gardner’s computer and external hard drives, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri.

He admitted to buying child pornography from an overseas website. Agents with Homeland Security determined he accessed the site 1,132 times between September 2015 and December 2018 and made at least two purchases.

Investigators also determined that the website had collected the equivalent of at least $19 million in profit from users paying to access and download content.



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