SAVANNAH, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) – A Savannah man pled guilty to distributing child pornography from inside a state prison transitional center after serving a sentence for failing to register as a sex offender , according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.

Melton Andrew Padgett Jr., 47, of Savannah, pled guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of Distribution of Child Pornography.  The plea subjects Padgett to a possible statutory sentence of up to 40 years in federal prison, along with substantial financial penalties, followed by a period of supervised release of five years to life.

Court documents and testimony indicated authorities received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that led investigators to Padgett. In his guilty plea, Padgett admitted sharing videos of child exploitation through a social media messaging service.

At the time Padgett shared these images of child pornography Padgett was completing a state term of imprisonment and was being housed in the Coastal Transitional Center in Savannah.  Padgett has prior convictions for child molestation and failing to register as a sex offender.