ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WRIC) — A Loudoun County man was convicted of receiving child pornography and attempting to destroy evidence after he tried to flush an incriminating hard drive down the toilet ahead of a police raid.

Max Christian Frear, 35, was convicted during a bench trial on Jan. 17 after he waived his right to a jury trial.

Frear was identified by law enforcement after they detected that an IP address belonging to his parents — with whom he lived — was being used to download files containing child pornography through a “peer-to-peer” (P2P) platform.

Essentially that means that instead of being hosted on a server and downloaded, the files were sent directly from one user’s or a group of users’ computers to another.

According to an evidence brief submitted by prosecutors to the judge before the bench trial, an FBI team arrived at the Frears’ home on February 3, 2022, to execute a search warrant.

When they knocked on the door to announce themselves, Frear’s parents answered, and several minutes later, Frear himself came down from his third-floor bedroom.

Upon searching Frear’s room, a detective with a local police force entered an attached bathroom and there “spotted a small black storage device in the toilet bowl.”

The hard drive had been snapped in half and “covered in a gray substance” that detective later determined was fluid from a 3d printer. When the device was recovered, Frear almost immediately admitted to agents that he had child pornography on the drive, involving children “less than 13.”

Despite Frear’s efforts, forensic experts with the FBI managed to extract files from the drive, including 84 videos depicting child sexual abuse and over 5,000 still images.

“Many of the videos depict the violent sexual abuse of infants and toddlers,” prosecutors wrote. “Some of them last for longer than 30 minutes.”

Frear now faces a minimum of 5 years in prison but could face up to 20 years. He’s set to be sentenced by a federal judge on May 26.