A man pleaded guilty Wednesday to having child pornography and uploading some of the photos to a website.

Daniel Christopher French, 48, pleaded guilty to felony sexual abuse of children. He appeared with attorney Buddy Rutzke in Gallatin County District Court before Judge John Brown.

Prosecutors will recommend at his sentencing on April 8 that French serve 10 years in the Montana State Prison, with four years suspended, and that he complete sex offender treatment. Prosecutors will also recommend that French have no unsupervised contact with people under 18 and that there be no parole restrictions on his sentence.

French is allowed to make his own sentence recommendation.

In 2018, Yahoo Inc. provided multiple tips to a Bozeman detective that a user had uploaded photos of child pornography to Flickr on several occasions, according to charging documents. The detective found that an account connected to French uploaded 106 photos of girls ages 6 to 14 engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

In December 2018, the detective and a Department of Homeland Security Investigations agent found French living in his car in the Walmart parking lot, court documents say.

French told the officers he was doing his own investigation into child porn because he was accused of molesting a child in Idaho, court documents say. An officer later called law enforcement in Pocatello and confirmed “suspicious behavior” between French and children.

Police said in charging documents that French’s cellphone had 1,026 images of girls ages 7 to 17 years old either naked or performing sexual acts.

In court on Wednesday, French admitted to the charges against him but maintained that he found the images as part of his own investigation into child porn. French said that he is an “amateur adult entertainer” and that it was his intention to turn the images into law enforcement when he found them.

Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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