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Mercer County man gets 35 years for child pornography

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Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 2:28 p.m.

A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a Mercer County man to 35 years in prison for producing child pornography.

Armando Cruz, 44, of Mercer Borough pleaded guilty in July to persuading two under-age children to engage in sexually explicit conduct so he could record it. Cruz and his friends took nude photos of three underage girls who stayed overnight at his house, according to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Thomas Carter. Two of the girls told police that they had sexual contact with Cruz, the affidavit says.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab sentenced Cruz to 17 years and 6 months on each count of producing child pornography, with the sentences to run consecutively. He also sentenced Cruz to lifetime probation and registration as a sex offender. Cruz faces state charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and corruption of minors, according to Mercer County court records.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or

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