Bernard Squires, 64, of rural Columbia City, was arrested last summer after an investigation by the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Task Force, which included investigators from the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, Fort Wayne Police Department and Indiana State Police, among other agencies.
Squires served as pastor of Grace Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist congregation, in Columbia City and had been a volunteer chaplain for the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department and the VA Medical Center in Fort Wayne.
In July, federal prosecutors said a preliminary examination of Squires’ computer equipment found at least 10,000 pornographic images of children and 5,000 videos depicting child pornography.
The images were particularly graphic, according to prosecutors.
According to court documents, Squires pleaded guilty to the first count of the indictment – sexual exploitation of children, distribution. A second count of possession of child pornography will be dismissed at sentencing.
Squires will serve no less than five years in federal prison and could face a fine of up to $250,000.