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Howell man bound over for trial on child pornography charges

A Howell man will head to trial on charges of possessing child pornography.

Thomas Paul Flanders, 39, of Howell, is charged with aggravated possession of child sexually abusive material and using a computer to commit a crime. On Tuesday, he waived his right to an exam in district court, and was bound over to Livingston County Circuit Court for trial. No new dates have been set.

Flanders was arrested by the Michigan State Police (MSP) Computer Crimes Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force following an investigation which began when a tip was received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). A search of Flanders residence resulted in digital evidence being seized.

Flanders, who remains held on a $50,000 bond, was charged with three counts of aggravated possession of child sexually abusive material, and three counts of using a computer to commit a crime.

Aggravated possession of child sexually abusive material is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Use of a computer to commit a crime, which is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison.

The MSP Computer Crimes Unit encourages parents to speak to their children and family members about safe use of the internet. There are many resources available to assist in keeping people safe online.

The MSP ICAC Task Force provides a comprehensive list of resources on their website at http://www.michiganicac.com.

If you have information regarding possible child sexual exploitation, report it to the CyberTipline at http://www.missingkids.org/cybertipline.

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