KEMP, Texas — A Kemp, Texas, man, who was a registered sex offender previously convicted of and recently released from state jail on child-sex related crimes, has been sentenced to federal prison for distributing child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

43-year-old Thomas Earl Cardwell of Kemp, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sean D. Jordan to 210 months in federal prison for distributing child pornography.

According to information presented in court, Cardwell had been convicted in Tarrant County for online solicitation of a minor and sexual conduct in July 2019.

Cardwell was among 11 men arrested in a join-sting operation in Tarrant County targeting sexual predators in early 2019. At that time, investigators said Cardwell believed he was meeting a 15-year-old girl and was found in possession of 2.1 grams of methamphetamine.

He was released, on those charges, from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in December 2019.

Two months later, according to federal prosecutors, in February 2020, Cardwell began communicating with individuals on a social media application about his desire to perform oral sex on female children.

"As part of those communications, on March 6, 2020, Cardwell distributed four videos of child pornography, depicting prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct," read a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Texas.

Cardwell had previously pleaded guilty to the distributing child pornography charges in October 2020.