ST. LOUIS – A former St. Louis priest admitted to possessing thousands of images containing child pornography.

James T. Beighlie, 72, pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday, two counts of possession of child pornography.

According to his plea agreement, Beighlie was working at the Congregation of the Mission in St. Louis in May 2017 when colleagues found “compromising images” of Beighlie on a church printer. The church launched an internal investigation, reviewing records from four desktop computer towers, a laptop and a smartphone used by Beighlie.

The FBI got involved with the investigation when a private IT support company found videos of minors engaging in sex acts. Federal agents found around 6,000 images of child sexual abuse material were found on one computer. That included nearly 3,000 images containing child pornography and another 3,000 images of child erotica, according to a plea agreement.

There were also two PowerPoint presentations created by Beighlie that linked to thousands of the images. Another computer had 236 images and 40 videos containing child sexual abuse material.

Beighlie is expected to be sentenced January 10.