GARDEN RIDGE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A San Antonio-area man who was working at an autism treatment center with nonverbal children was sentenced to prison Tuesday for distribution of child pornography.

Kyle Ross Rivers, 38, was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Texas.

Rivers trafficked child sexual abuse material to an undercover agent through a social media app, prosecutors said. Investigators learned that Rivers had thousands of images and videos of prepubescent children.

“At the time of his arrest, Rivers was working at a Residential Autism Treatment Center, providing care for many nonverbal children,” the USAO stated.

Along with the prison sentence, Rivers will also have to serve 10 years of supervised release and be ordered to pay $30,000 restitution to six victims, federal authorities said.

“The sexual abuse of children is horrific and individuals like Mr. Rivers who traffic in this despicable material continue the exploitation of these innocent children,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff for the Western District of Texas.  “The sentence imposed by the court reflects the gravity of the offense committed.”

The case was investigated by FBI San Antonio and FBI Chattanooga.