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Miller to enter plea Monday

Hastings police officer Anthony Miller will appear in a Wisconsin courtroom next week to enter a plea on possession of child pornography charges.

Miller waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday, and a Wisconsin judge ruled there was sufficient probable cause to move the case forward to the arraignment hearing, which will take place at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26, in St. Croix County court.

In addition to the possession of child pornography charge, Miller is facing a second charge of sexual exploitation of a child. Both are felonies and carry a combined maximum sentence of 65 years in prison and a $200,000 fine.

During a search of his New Richmond, Wis., home late last month, Miller admitted to possessing child pornography and to searching for it while on duty as a police officer in Hastings.

If Miller is found guilty of a felony, he will lose his Peace Officer Standards and Training license and therefore, his job at the Hastings Police Department.

The department is also in the midst of an internal investigation into Miller's conduct. If the investigation determines Miller broke city policies, the city could discipline him regardless of what's happening with the criminal case.

Miller is currently on paid administrative leave from the department, pending the outcome of the criminal case or the internal investigation. It is standard police department procedure for officers to be placed on paid leave when they're charged with crimes.