Mahkya Searles, 23, of Waverly, has pled guilty in
United States District Court to receipt and possession of child pornography. Searles faces a sentence of between 5 and 20 years in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years to life. Upon release from imprisonment, Searles must also register as a sex offender.


In pleading guilty, Searles admitted that, from on or about April 2018 through about March 10 of this year. he searched for and downloaded child pornography from the Internet, and that on March 20 he possessed more than 30 images of child pornography on his phone, some involving pre-pubescent minors.


This case was investigated by the Tioga County Sheriff’s Department, Athens Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


— Michael Baldwin