YORK, Pa. Feb 26 2017– Child pornography charges have been filed against a York County police officer, according to documents from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.
Following an investigation, agents with the attorney general’s office met with Chad Richard Howell early Thursday morning as he was getting off duty at the West Manchester Township Police Department.
Documents state Howell confirmed usernames he used for profiles on Pinterest, which were linked to child pornography activity. One of the usernames, “howellycpd” was a nod to the York City Police Department, Howell’s former employer, he told agents.
The social media site alerted the attorney general’s office that Howell’s accounts were used to upload explicit images of minors. They were uploaded in October and November of last year.
Documents also state images of child pornography were uploaded by one of Howell’s usernames in 2013.
Howell consented to have his phone and personal laptop searched while still at the police station, according to documents. When asked whether images of child pornography would be found on either his computers or his cell phone, Howell replied, “I would like to say ‘no,’ but I really don’t know.”
An agent with the attorney general’s office stated he discovered about 50 images of apparent child pornography, which was only a sampling of images on Howell’s cell phone.
Agents also executed a search warrant at Howell’s residence on Wargo Lane in Dillsburg to locate electronic devices.
Howell, 36, was charged with 50 felony counts of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility. He was taken to York County Prison following arraignment and was unable to post $25,000 bail.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. on April 24 at District Judge Keith Albright’s office.
ABC27 called the West Manchester Township Police Department to inquire about Howell’s current employment status but has not yet heard back.