The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 32-year-old former Lehighton resident was sentenced today to serve 188 months in prison for receiving and distributing child pornography.

Stephen Puza III, previously pleaded guilty to using a computer to download and share numerous images of child pornography during July 2011 through September 2011. Puza was living in Bethlehem at the time of his arrest.

Puza was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sept. 10, 2013, as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and Lehighton Borough Police.

Puza will be placed on supervised release for 10 years after serving his prison sentence. Puza was ordered to undergo sex offender treatment and will be subject to sex offender registration requirements and restrictions upon his release from prison.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.