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Former Wake schools employee sentenced on child porn charge

A former Wake County Public School System employee was sentenced Wednesday to 171/2 years in prison for distributing child pornography, authorities said.

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WILMINGTON, N.C. — A former Wake County Public School System employee was sentenced Wednesday to 17½ years in prison for distributing child pornography, authorities said.

Mitchell Byron Hales, 37, of Apex, pleaded guilty in January after FBI agents found him sharing images of child sexual abuse online. A search of his computer turned up thousands of pictures and hundreds of videos of children being sexually abused, authorities said.

Hales was a support technician at the district's central office and had no direct contact with students, officials said.

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Matthew Burns, Web Editor

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