A drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island has been arrested for internet crimes against children in Texas as part of a months-long sting operation.

Sgt. Keith Knight, assigned to the Recruit Training Regiment, was arrested by federal agents and charged on two second-degree felony counts of the promotion of child pornography, the Houston Chronicle reported.

"The Marine is currently in the hands of civilian authorities," Parris Island spokesman Staff Sgt. Greg Thomas told Marine Corps Times.

"He was taken into custody after local city officials searched his room on Nov. 17, and then extradited from Beaufort County [South Carolina] to Texas," he said.

Knight was incarcerated in the Montgomery County, Texas jail Dec. 9, according to the Beaufort Gazette.

Knight allegedly sent multiple photos and a video of young children performing sexual acts to what he thought was a 28-year-old woman via instant messaging over several days in November, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Court records also show that, while chatting with her, he allegedly expressed interest in travelling to Texas to watch her "perform sexual acts with a 5-year-old girl," according to the Houston Chronicle.

The woman, however, was a Montgomery County Precinct 1 Constable's Office undercover investigator.

The county had teamed up with the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations to conduct an online sting – named "Operation Safe Holiday – from October through December.

The cyber-detective work also nabbed 35 other individuals, with charges ranging from online solicitation of a minor to attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child.

If convicted, Knight faces up to 40 years in prison.