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A former West Manchester Township police officer must spend at least three months in York County Prison for possessing child pornography.

Chad Richard Howell, 39, formerly of Dillsburg and now of North Carolina, appeared Tuesday, Dec. 3, in York County Court, where he was sentenced to three to 23 months in prison, followed by three months of house arrest, by presiding Common Pleas Judge Harry M. Ness.

Ness imposed a consecutive three-year probationary sentence for Howell and ordered the former cop to report to prison on Jan. 6, according to court records.

Defense attorney Tim Barrouk declined comment on his client's behalf on Tuesday.

Howell pleaded guilty April 3 to four counts of possession of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. The last charge is for using his cellphone to commit a crime.

All five offenses are third-degree felonies.

Howell will have to register as a sex offender under the state's Megan's Law for 15 years, according to deputy attorney general David Drumheller.

The background: Howell was fired from the township police department on March 8, 2017, according to Kelly Kelch, West Manchester Township manager.

He had been placed on unpaid administrative leave Feb. 23, 2017 — the day the township learned charges had been filed against Howell, Kelch has said.

Howell was a York City police officer until the summer of 2015. He was then hired by West Manchester Township Police.

On Feb. 3, 2017, the attorney general's office received 14 cybertips reporting a user uploading an explicit image of a child, court documents state.

The website Pinterest had reported that users uploaded images in October and November 2016, with those users registered under Chad or Chad Howell, documents state.

Through a subpoena, the IP addresses of those accounts were found to be from Howell's home, the AG's office said.

Some of the uploaded images included girls as young as 8 years old, according to court documents.

More: More prison for ex-cop who kept sexting teen despite first conviction

Met with agents: Agents from the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office met with former West Manchester Township Police Chief Arthur Smith Jr. on Feb. 23, 2017, the day charges were filed, to set up a meeting with Howell as he was getting off duty.

While speaking with two agents from the AG's office, Howell consented to having his personal laptop computer and cellphone searched, documents state.

He also confirmed for agents that he used three of the four profiles mentioned as the ones that uploaded the child pornography, according to court documents. He admitted to using the names "howellycpd" "chrissmith4618" and "Howell103," the AG's office said.

When asked if officials would find child pornography on his phone or computers, Howell said, "I would like to say no, but I really don't know," documents state.

During a preview of Howell's iPhone, about 50 images of child pornography were found, the AG's office said.

"This was only a sampling of those images on Chad Richard Howell's Apple iPhone," documents state.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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