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URBANA — A Mattoon man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for having child pornography and other crimes against children.

A federal jury in April convicted Jeffrey M. West, 53, of sexual exploitation of minors, commission of the offense by a registered sex offender, and receipt and possession of child pornography.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elly Peirson and Keith Hollingshead-Cook presented evidence at trial that established that police became aware of West’s activity when a minor disclosed that West had molested him in 2019.

An investigation by Mattoon police and the FBI revealed that West had more than 1,000 images and videos involving child pornography, including sexually explicit depictions of infants and prepubescent minors, on multiple electronic devices in his home and at his business, West Side Motors, in Mattoon.

The government also had evidence that West used the video-chatting website Omegle to entice and coerce multiple unidentified boys to engage in sexually explicit conduct, which he captured for his child-pornography collection.

West had a prior conviction in Coles County for aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a 10-year-old female and 4-year-old male.

He had been arrested in May 2019 in Mattoon on state charges, but those were later dismissed, and federal authorities prosecuted him.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm sentenced him Monday in Urbana.

Reporter

Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is mschenk@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).

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