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Howell man charged with possessing child pornography

A Howell man has been charged with possessing child pornography.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Computer Crimes Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force on Tuesday announced the arrest of Thomas Paul Flanders, 39, of Howell, for aggravated possession of child sexually abusive material and using a computer to commit a crime.

According to an MSP press release, Flanders was arrested 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 was charged with three counts of aggravated possession of child sexually abusive material, and three counts of using a computer to commit a crime.

He was arraigned in the 53rd District Court on Friday, August 11.

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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