AUGUSTA — Authorities have charged a city man with multiple counts of possessing child pornography after an investigation allegedly found hundreds of sexually explicit images of young children on hard drives and a cellphone that belonged to him.

Justin X. Maxim, 28, was arrested Monday in Oakland after a police investigation that was launched three years ago, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court Wednesday.

According to court records, the investigation took so long partly because it involved computer records that were sent to the Maine Computer Crimes Task Force in March of 2015. The task force did not finish investigating those records for two years, at which point they were released to the Augusta Police Department.

Maxim was charged with five counts of possessing sexually explicit material of minors under the age of 12, each a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

On Wednesday, Maxim did not enter a plea during his initial appearance at the Capital Judicial Center on a video feed from the Kennebec County jail. He said little and wore a green jail uniform during his appearance on the video screen at the court house.

During that hearing, a judge set Maxim’s bail at $1,000 unsecured cash with conditions that include no contact with anyone younger than 16, no use or possession of devices that can connect online or store files, and random searches.

Carie James, an assistant district attorney, recommended those bail terms. She noted that Augusta police first executed a search warrant on Maxim in 2015, and that the investigation took so long because the Maine Computer Crimes Task Force took two years to search his phone and hard drives.

An attorney who Maxim has retained, P.J. Perrino, objected to the conditions that Maxim not be allowed to use computers, stating that the defendant could need them for a job.

“I don’t know how you get along without the use of a computer,” Perrino told Justice Robert Mullen. “I understand that they’re concerned about going on the internet or something like that, but everybody works on the computer today and everybody is hooked to the internet.”

Still, Mullen agreed to all of James’ recommendations and said that Maxim could try to demonstrate his need for a computer at a later date. He is scheduled to have a dispositional conference in June.

The Augusta Police Department began investigating Maxim in February 2015, after a supervisor at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services learned that child pornography allegedly was stored on one of his cellphones, according to an affidavit written by then-Detective Tori Tracy, who is now a patrol sergeant.

In March of 2015, Tracy received warrants to search that cellphone, as well as Maxim’s apartment on 45 New England Road in Augusta.

On the cellphone, police allegedly found several images in which children younger than 10 years old were either posing erotically or being subjected to sexual acts by adults, Tracy said in the affidavit.

Officers also collected cellphones, DVDs, hard drives and other media from Maxim’s apartment, which were sent to the Maine Computer Crimes Task Force for analysis.

About a year ago, Tracy reviewed the findings from that analysis, which showed the hard drives allegedly contained “hundreds of images, several videos and many websites that contain child pornography and child erotica.”

Tracy also interviewed Maxim after the search on his apartment three years ago, according to her affidavit.

At first, she said, “he denied anything to do with child pornography then stated he ‘stumbled’ upon it looking at other porn.” Then, Maxim allegedly “admitted to looking at (child porn) and that he preferred pre-teen or young teens.”

After Tracy informed Maxim that younger children allegedly were depicted in the images on his phone, she said, he went into greater detail about his habits.

According to the affidavit, Maxim allegedly told Tracy that “he goes on different sites to obtain the child pornography. He said he likes to look at everything from children, to the elderly, to animals and execution-style hard pornography.”

The affidavit did not state whether other types of pornography had been found on Maxim’s property.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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