A former flight instructor at the University of North Dakota was sentenced to 16.5 years in prison for child pornography charges. 

38-year-old Eric Hewitt Basile of Grand Forks was sentenced for his role in receiving and distributing materials containing child pornography as well as possession of materials containing child pornography. 

The case came to the attention of law enforcement after two UND students separately reported to the UND Police Department that then-UND faculty members Basile had engaged in inappropriate behavior. 

Based on those reports, UND Police seized Basile’s UND-issued computer for forensic examination. 

A preliminary search revealed child pornography. Then, the matter was turned over to agents with the Department of Homeland Security and the North Dkaota Bureau of Criminal Investigation for further investigation. 

Subsequent searches revealed additional child pornography videos and images. Along with evidence of that Basile traded some of those images and videos with other. 

Basile is also sentenced to serve 15 years of supervised release and to pay $24,000 in special assessments to the crime victims’ fund.