Metro-East News

Collinsville man admits to federal child pornography charge

A Collinsville man with a previous child pornography conviction in his record on Thursday pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge in federal court.

Jeremy T. Blair, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of access with intent to view prepubescent child pornography during a hearing in U.S. District Court in front of Judge Michael J. Reagan. Because of Blair’s previous conviction, he will be sentenced to between 10 and 20 years in prison at a March 17 sentencing hearing in East St. Louis. Blair could be fined up to $250,000 and will have to serve a term of supervised release of at least five years. He will have to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.

Blair was arrested after an investigation by the FBI’s Springfield Child Exploitation Task Force. In May 2015, an undercover investigation done by the FBI in Fairview Heights, an Internet Protocol address was discovered that was sharing child pornography on a peer-to-peer network. Subscriber information for the IP address led the FBI to Blair.

On July 17, 2015, a federal search warrant was executed at Blair’s residence. Among the items seized from his home was a Compaq desktop computer. Police said a forensic examination of the computer found 26 videos of child pornography in the recycle bin, all of which had been downloaded on June 16, 2015, and the majority of which involved prepubescent children. Police said the videos had been viewed by Blair while he attempted to download the video to his computer via a file-sharing program.

In 2004, Blair was sentenced to three years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography. In that case, Blair admitted to possessing child pornography in a case that was handled by the Alton Police Department. Blair was arrested after he agreed to meet with a fictitious 15-year-old girl he had met in a chat room. An Alton police investigator had posed as the 15-year-old.