A Quincy man has been sentenced to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Rice handed down the term to 35-year-old Joseph Thomas Schmitz on October 11, after he entered a guilty plea on May 11.

Court documents say Schmitz was identified as a suspect in May of 2021 after his wife told police she'd discovered nude photos of an 11-year-old girl within a hidden folder on his laptop computer.

Investigators obtained a warrant to search Schmitz's electronic devices and subsequently found files linked to 25 previously identified child pornography victims, in addition to more images and videos of the 11-year-old girl.

Agents also found evidence that Schmitz had been frequenting groups dedicated to the viewing and sharing child pornography since 2019.

In addition to the 120-month sentence, Judge Rice also ordered Schmitz to pay $6,000 in restitution to two of his victims, as well as special assessments totaling $7,000 to funds benefitting the victims of human trafficking and child pornography crimes. Judge Rice further ordered that Schmitz be federally supervised for ten years after his is released from prison.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Quincy Police Department and prosecuted by Ann T. Wick, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

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