Jason Cory Brooks, 24, has been in custody since his arrest by border guards at the Canadian point of entry near Winkler on Feb. 23.
Brooks, who had crossed the border to deliver a load of corn to the town of Haskett, became nervous and gave inconsistent answers when guards asked him questions about his criminal record.
A subsequent search of his laptop revealed it had six videos and four images of child pornography on it.
Some of the illegal material depicted children as young as five engaged in sexual activity, court heard on Monday.
Instead of being charged under the Criminal Code, Brooks was charged — and pleaded guilty to — charges under the Customs Act.
He faced a maximum prison term of five years and a $500,000 fine.
His own lawyer, Randy Minuk, argued that Brooks should spend no more than 90 days in jail, creating a conflict with the Crown's request for a sentence between 9-12 months.
Judge Sidney Lerner also ordered Brooks to serve three years of supervised probation after his release from jail.
However, he faces immediate deportation back to the U.S. after his sentence expires and likely will never be allowed to return to Canada.
He was given no extra credit for the time he's spent in custody awaiting sentencing. His arrest came one day after legislation to abolish double-time credit for prisoners was made law.
National Guardsman no longerBrooks, a member of the U.S. National Guard, has been kicked out of the group because of his conviction, court heard.
Brooks initially told investigators that he had purchased the laptop from a convicted sex offender one week prior to his arrest, and blamed the discovery of the child pornography on that man.
He later changed his story and said he had owned the computer for several months. Later still, he claimed that a number of people had access to the computer and may have been responsible for downloading the child pornography.
Court heard that the offending material was placed in folders named "normal" and "young."
Brooks also said that his own father had emailed one of the illegal images to him.
A number of letters of support were filed with the court, and Lerner said it was proof he was a "contributing and well-liked" member of his community.
However, Lerner suggested, Brooks's changing story about how the child pornography got on the laptop showed he had limited remorse for his actions.
I disagree with the 10 month jail sentence. I believe that is far too harsh. He did not have extensive pornography on his computer and a criminal record will impact his employment prospects, especially as a trucker. I would like to know more about this man's background such as his family life and what made him a well liked member of his community. Prison is a negative environment with negative influences, gangs, drugs, little access to rehab programs and pro-criminal attitudes and behaviours. I believe that only those who are truly dangerous to society should be imprisoned. This man does not fit that category, in my opinion. Prison will not deter future criminals, prevent or reduce crime.
I would have sentenced him to a conditional discharge, where he would be subject to probation conditions but would not receive a criminal record. This would ensure that he would be able to keep his employment and would not place further deprivations and hardships upon this man.