A York County man who admitted to federal authorities that he had downloaded more than 1 million images of children – both nude and clothed – from the Internet was arrested Friday on a child pornography charge.

John Merchberger III, 46, of Dayton was brought to U.S. District Court in Portland after his arrest. Magistrate Judge John Rich III ordered him held pending a detention hearing next week.

FBI agents went to Merchberger’s home on Mullett Lane on Wednesday with a search warrant and seized a computer and several hard drives from Merchberger’s bedroom.

Merchberger was not at home at the time of the search, and his mother and brother told agents that he was at work in Portland, according to court records.

While some agents were at Merchberger’s home, other agents went to his workplace and persuaded him to come to the FBI’s Portland office for questioning.

Merchberger initially told investigators that he had only non-nude pictures of children on his computer, but he later signed a written statement that he had more than 1 million images, after agents told him they had already been to his home, according to an affidavit filed by FBI Agent Pamela Flick.

Merchberger was arrested after a police officer assigned to the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit analyzed his seized computers and discovered numerous sexually explicit videos and images of minor girls, the affidavit states.

Merchberger faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

Twitter: @scottddolan