PITTSBURGH (AP) - A Florida computer expert who helped send millions of spam messages to people to help computer marketers collect email addresses and phone numbers has been sentenced to two years' probation.

PITTSBURGH (AP) A Florida computer expert who helped send millions of spam messages to people to help computer marketers collect email addresses and phone numbers has been sentenced to two years' probation.

A federal judge in Pittsburgh sentenced Naveed Ahmed on Thursday. The Tampa resident pleaded guilty in August.

The light sentence came as a surprise, as federal guidelines call for at least two years in prison.

Prosecutors say Ahmed and two others earned $2,000 to $3,000 weekly by violating a law designed to protect people from receiving unsolicited email or text messages.

Ahmed is one of 12 people federally prosecuted for marketing their skills on Darkcode.com, a cybercriminal marketplace disabled by the FBI last summer. Seventy people in the U.S. and 19 other countries were targeted in that takedown.