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URBANA — A former Monticello schools employee faces multiple decades behind bars after admitting to federal child-pornography charges.

William Bell, 40, of St. Joseph pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Urbana to transportation of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Bell was indicted in mid-February on those charges. The indictment alleged that in July and August 2018, Bell used his home computer to send pictures of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and that he possessed child pornography in November 2018.

The transportation charge carries a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison. The possession charge carries a maximum of 10 years behind bars.

Bell is represented by Urbana attorney Tom Bruno. He is set to be sentenced Aug. 12.

Bell was a information-technology employee in the Monticello school district but Superintendent Vic Zimmerman said the crimes did not involve students or school equipment.

The district placed Bell on leave Nov. 30, and he resigned Feb. 4, four days before his arrest.

WDWS Reporter

Tim Ditman is a reporter at WDWS 1400-AM. His email is