A Kirkwood man has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release for being caught with thousands of images of child pornography.

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Christopher Helm, 30, was sentenced for possession of child pornography on Aug. 29 in federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri.

The Kirkwood Police Department searched Helm’s apartment after learning he had been arrested for statutory rape in St. Clair, Missouri. The electronics in his possession revealed more than 9,000 images of child pornography, according to court documents.

Helm pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography earlier this year. He also pleaded guilty on the same conduct in St. Clair County Court in 2018 and was sentenced to eight years in state prison. Both sentences will run concurrent.

The Kirkwood Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Regional Computer Crimes Education and Enforcement Group investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Lang is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.