ATTLEBORO — A Norton man faces charges he downloaded over 440 images of child pornography from the internet and uploaded other images to a social media and networking app.
Brian D. Mello, 49, of 28 East Hodges St., pleaded innocent Friday in Attleboro District Court to one count of possession of child pornography and two counts of dissemination of material of a child in a sexual act, according to court records.
He is free on his own recognizance with limits on his computer use.
Mello was charged and summonsed to court after an investigation by the state police cyber crimes unit and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
State police Detective Gerald Donovan said in a report that police executed a search warrant in July at Mello’s home as part of the investigation and seized his cellphone.
A forensic examination of the phone revealed it contained seven images and a video and also had an application with a password that contained about 442 images of alleged child pornography.
The images allegedly showed boys and girls between ages 5 and 10 being sexually abused by adult men and women.
Mello’s lawyer, Maura Tansley of Worcester, declined to comment on the allegations against her client.
The investigation into Mello’s activities began after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip on its cyberline in November 2019, according to court records.
Police determined there were 67 files of alleged child pornography uploaded to a social media site from an internet address traced to Mello, according to a police report.
In a recorded interview with investigators, Mello allegedly made admissions and gave police passwords for his electronic devices. He also allegedly told police he would never be inappropriate with a child, according to the report.
If convicted, Mello faces five years in prison on the possession of child pornography charge and at least 10 years on the dissemination charge.