After a tornado last month knocked the shutters off Robert L. Medvee's Frederick County home and damaged the roof, he hired workers to fix the damage.
And what the workers allegedly found when they arrived at the house prompted authorities to put Medvee in jail.
What they found, said State's Attorney Scott L. Rolle, were scores of pictures of children engaged in sex acts. Medvee, 52, was charged with 48 counts each of possessing child pornography and using a computer to obtain child pornography. Rolle called the collection "the biggest amount I've ever seen in one place."
Medvee, of the 5900 block of Char-Leigh Circle, just outside the city of Frederick, was arrested Friday and ordered jailed for lack of $96,000 bail, Rolle said. No one answered the telephone at his home yesterday, and it could not be determined whether Medvee is represented by an attorney.
Rolle said the sexually explicit photos of the children and other "disturbing" images were in boxes that the workers came upon in Medvee's home. Rolle said that the workers reported the discovery to him and that he notified the Frederick County Sheriff's Office. Based on the report, investigators obtained a warrant to search Medvee's house and carted away 20 boxes of evidence in a pickup truck last week.
Some of the pictures show children as young as "6 or 7 years old" engaged in sex acts with adults and with one another, Rolle said.
"Well over 1,000" computer disks were found in the house, and investigators discovered child pornography on 48 of them, Rolle said. The remaining disks have not been checked yet.
Jennifer Bailey, a sheriff's office spokeswoman, said investigators have not identified any of the children in the pictures.
Rolle said Medvee is unemployed and a divorced father of grown children.