Masury man admits to discovery of 1 million child porn downloads - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Masury man admits to discovery of 1 million child porn downloads

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WARREN, Ohio -

A Masury man admits to downloading thousands of files containing child pornography.

Stephen M. Sample, 44, pleaded guilty in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Wednesday to 15 of the 20 counts filed against him in an indictment.

Investigators say he collected nearly one million files with graphic sexually oriented content involving children. Court documents detail at least one of the files contained images of young children with dogs.

"I've been doing this for five or six years now as far as our Child Pornography Unit, we've never seen a case with this many files on this scale," Gabe Wildman said, Trumbull County assistant prosecutor.

Downloading the graphic content triggered an alert to authorities that brought investigators to the home of Sample in 2015.

"This case was a little different because when we went to execute the search warrant, he was actively downloading child pornography when we entered the home," Wildman said.

What they found was disturbing. Wildman says a massive collection of files that he believes Sample acquired over the years was uncovered inside the home.

Trumbull County's Child Pornography Task Force and Ohio BCI agents sought Sample out, something they do anytime evidence of a search surfaces.

"We're always looking, always trolling the internet for these kinds of online predators," he said.

Wildman says offenders often serve probation for child porn crimes, but in this case, he's hoping the judge will order him to serve prison time instead.

21 News reached out to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation about how the state monitors these cases. Each year officials say the number of cases is tracked across the state of Ohio.

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