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Portsmouth Herald sports editor accused of possessing child porn

NOTTINGHAM — The sports editor of the Portsmouth Herald was arrested Wednesday on a felony charge of possession of child sexual abuse images.

Frank P. Coppola, 39, of Nottingham, was arrested at his home by Nottingham police.

Bail was set at $100,000 cash. Coppola is to be arraigned on the Class A felony charge on Sept. 3 in 10th Circuit Court, Candia District Division.

Portsmouth Police Sgt. Thomas Grella, commander of the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), said the warrants in the case are sealed.

He explained that as ICAC commander, he received a complaint from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) concerning the allegation.

Under federal law, Internet service providers, when they become aware of potential child pornography, are to report that information to NCMEC.

Grella referred the case to Nottingham police and on Wednesday officers from that department, as well as from Hampton, Exeter and the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office, who are assigned to the task force, made the arrest.

Grella said Nottingham Sgt. Ross Oberlin is heading the investigation, which is ongoing.

The Portsmouth Herald is owned by Seacoast Media Group.

President and Publisher John Tabor said he couldn't comment, but referred a reporter to a statement he made to, the Herald's online edition.

"We take these charges very seriously," he was quoted as saying. "We can't comment further at this time because it is a personnel matter."

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