ST. LOUIS – A federal judge has sentenced a St. Peters man for downloading and sharing child pornography through several social media apps.

Eric Crews, 38, was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison. He will also be on supervised release for the rest of his life after his prison term.

Investigators say Crews used several social media platforms, including Kik Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp and TamTam, to send and receive child pornography.

According to the plea agreement, when Crews uploaded 14 files containing child sexual abuse material to Kik Messenger on Nov. 11, 2020 and shared them with at least one other Kik user, it triggered an alert to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

St. Charles County searched Crews’ home on June 15, 2021, after court approval. During the search, investigators found at least 5,400 images and 610 videos containing child pornography on his phone.

Before his sentence, Crews pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of child pornography.