John Edward Shearen has been charged with 20 accounts of child pornography offences (Lake County Sheriff's Office)
John Edward Shearen has been charged with 20 ccounts of child pornography offences (Lake County Sheriff's Office)

A man described as the world's biggest distributor of child porn has been arrested after being caught with up to one million images and videos at his home.

John Shearen, 51, was arrested at his home in Florida by police monitoring child pornography websites.

When they entered Shearen's house on his birthday in the city of Leesburg, they found him sat at his computer downloading videos.

Following a search by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), investigators said they found between 500,000 and one million illicit images on computers and mass media storage devices. Police said the images and videos contained children aged between six and 12.

Police also found children's underwear at the 51-year-old's home, which Shearen told police he wore.

Shearen has been charged with 20 accounts each of possession and distribution of child pornography. Authorities have said they expect this number to rise.

Special Agent Jeff Duncan told WFTV: "We were able to seize anywhere from 500,000 to one million images and videos. They were stored on several computers and external hard drives to actually being transferred from the computers to separate DVDs, and he has a DVD collection of child pornography.

"So, we have a lot of work to do. Those initial cases will be charged today."

Duncan added: "He is the Number one person that can distribute child pornography throughout the world. And he's been doing it."

Following the discovery of children's clothing at Shearan's house, officials are investigating whether any of the children captured in photographs on his hard drive are from the local area.

Neighbours of Shearen said they had no idea what the 51-year-old was doing inside his property.

"He never let anyone in his house" said Robby Pinder.

"I liked him as a human being. He seemed like he was alright, but you don't know somebody until you get to know them."