HELENA- A Deer Lodge resident working as freelance writer for a local newspaper has been sentenced to 35 months in prison for possessing child pornography.
Rex Thomas Kendall, 62, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Helena Thursday with Judge Charles C. Lovell presiding.
In November 2007, Kendall was doing contract work for the editor of the Silver State Post in Deer Lodge to write stories for the local newspaper.
The editor provided Kendall with a thumb drive to submit two stories for review on the device.
The editor reviewed the stories then found the child porn images when he decided to clean up the thumb drive for Kendall.
The next day, Kendall left his personal laptop in his work area at the Post’s offices.
Newspaper officials, who had delivered the thumb drive to law enforcement, also turned over the laptop to investigators.
FBI investigators examined the laptop and thumb drive and found numerous images of child porn.
The investigation also determined that Kendall would use the newspaper’s internet service for personal matters and that it was not unusual for him to be at the office late in the evenings or on weekends.
Kendall pleaded guilty to the charges in September 2018.