A former church pastor has been sentenced to six years in prison for having more than 1,000 still pictures and videos of child pornography.
Elie Quinonez, 35, of Pueblo has also been ordered by U.S. District Judge Walker D. Miller to register as a sex offender.
Quinonez was caught in a sting by the police in Waterford, Ohio, in which Quinonez was led to believe that the adult he was communicating with online had a 14-year-old daughter.
According to federal investigators, Quinonez asked for pornographic images of the 14-year-old from the man, who turned out to be an undercover officer.
The screen name of the person requesting the illegal photos was identified and both the Greeley and the Pueblo police departments were asked to help identify the instant messages. Investigators found that Quinonez, who had also been a correctional officer in Weld County, was the person using the screen name.
Quinonez's computer and numerous storage units were seized. On them, the FBI found the pornographic pictures and more than 500 e-mail messages Quinonez had sent or received that contained child pornography.
U.S. Attorney Troy Eid said that Quinonez betrayed the trust of those who believed in him.
"People looked up to Mr. Quinonez, but he let the community down," said Eid. "Behind those Internet images are real children. They're victimized again and again, and they deserved better."
Miller ordered that once Quinonez completes his sentence, he serve an additional five years of supervised release.
Quinonez had been pastor of the Church of God of Prophecy in Pueblo. He was removed from that job after the raid and then moved to Texas.
[By Howard Pankratz -- The Denver Post]