A Buhl man who was caught in a federal operation to combat child pornography has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison, law enforcement announced this week.

U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Carlton Peeples said the perpetrator, 43-year-old Nathaniel David Struening, was identified during a 2020 FBI Milwaukee investigation into the receipt, possession, distribution and possible production of child pornography.

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Covert agents reported that Struening used a social media app called Kik to virtually transport this illegal material to others. Search warrants led to agents seizing several of Struening's devices, and additional child pornography was reportedly found on them.

The Buhl man was arrested and in November 2023, pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

This week, U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced Struening to 188 months in prison - more than 15 years time - followed by supervised release for life.

The federal agents also said Struening was ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution to child victims.

The case was investigated by the FBI Birmingham’s Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force along with the Milwaukee Division of the FBI, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Homewood Police Department and the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Leann White prosecuted the case that led to the guilty plea.

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