The Emporium Borough Police K-9 handler waived a preliminary hearing Thursday for allegations that he possessed child pornography.

Volker Kiefer, 56, is charged with 11 counts of child pornography, four second-degree felonies and seven third-degree felonies; and one count of criminal use of a communication facility, a third-degree felony. The charges are filed in the office of District Judge Barry Brown.

According to the criminal complaint, the website Stelivo notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children of possible child pornography, and sent them five images that were uploaded on Aug. 30 by a user eventually identified as Kiefer.

Kiefer lived in Reynoldsville at the time, but soon relocated to Emporium. In January, agents of the Attorney General’s office began surveillance on Kiefer’s Emporium home.

After ascertaining that Kiefer had moved to the residence, the agents obtained a search warrant for any electronic devices inside the residence, like laptops and cellphones.

On March 17, agents with the AG’s office went to the home with a search warrant. Kiefer was at the Emporium Borough police station at the time, but agents were able to inform him of the warrant and he agreed to an interview.

After some questioning, Kiefer admitted to receiving child pornography from other people, saving it to his iPad and trading the images he had saved, the complaint alleged.

Kiefer is incarcerated in McKean County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail. A formal arraignment is set for 9 a.m. April 20 in Cameron County Court.

Kiefer was brought onto the police force in 2015, and his K-9 partner, Novak, was brought to the force in 2019.

A news report indicated that Novak will be taken back to the Ohio kennel where he was trained.

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