(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — An Erie man has pleaded guilty to charges for violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children.

Kenneth L. Blanks, 41, pleaded guilty to two counts before Senior United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

Blanks had received and possessed computer images and movies depicting prepubescent minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

He is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. on Jan. 30, 2023. He faces a total sentence of 40 years in prison and a fine of $500,000. The actual sentence will be based on the seriousness of the offenses and any prior criminal history.

The case was part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative since May 2006. The initiative uses federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

The Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and the Erie Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Blanks.