An Albuquerque youth minister who authorities say downloaded thousands of images of child pornography pleaded guilty Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors to reduce his sentence.
Thirty-four-year-old Derek Schwartzrock broke down and cried as he pleaded guilty to one count of receiving child porn through a computer. He had faced up to 20 years in prison, but prosecutors recommended he got eight years. Sentencing has not been scheduled.
Schwartzrock was arrested in April after federal investigators said they found more than 12,000 images of child pornography on his computer and other electronic equipment.
Schwartzrock was the children's minister at Evangel Christian Center in Albuquerque. He was fired after church officials learned of the allegations.
Federal prosecutors say the investigation started in mid-March after Homeland Security investigators in Philadelphia determined that someone in Albuquerque was accessing a website that contained explicit images of children.