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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A former Port St. Lucie police officer was sentenced to life in prison for child pornography.

In February, Michael Edwin Harding, pleaded guilty to three counts of possession and distribution of material involving sexual exploitation of minors, attempting to coerce and enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity and production of child pornography.

According to court documents between July 23rd and August 4th, 2015, Harding posted a number of pictures videos to a chat room which depicted children engaging in sexually explicit acts.

On September 22nd, homeland security agents executed a federal search warrant at Harding’s home and seized his computer, cell phone and a thumb drive. An analysis found they contained hundreds of pictures and videos of children engaged in sex acts with adults.

Harding, 28, also attempted to coerce and entice a minor to engage in sexual activity over the Internet. Chat messages stored on his phone show a conversation he had with another person. Both claimed to have custody of children who they would trade for sexual activity.

According to court records, Harding used his cellphone to shoot a video depicting his sexual contact with a child under the age of 12. Chat messages also located on the phone corroborated that the image on the phone depicted the abuse of the minor child.

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