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Tioga County Man Admits To Downloading Child Pornography To His Phone

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A Tioga County man pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography in front of a United States District Court judge. 23-year-old Mahkye Searles admitted to searching for and downloading more than 30 images of child pornography on his phone between April 2018 and March 2019. 

Searles is scheduled to be sentenced on September 26th. He could be facing anywhere from 5 to 20 years in state prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and will have to be registered as a sex offender. 

The investigation was conducted by the Tioga County Sheriff's Department, Athens Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Grabowski, as a part of Project Safe Childhood.