WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- Anthony Mangione faced a federal judge for the first time in West Palm Beach. He seemed almost nervous twisting the metal handcuffs on his wrist. The longtime federal agent finds himself on the other side of the law.
It is a stunning accusation for Mangione who is a powerful ICE agent, now charged with possessing, transporting and receiving child pornography. Charges that could send him to prison for at least five years.
In court Mangione pleaded not guilty and because prosecutors expressed a concern about his mental health the judge ordered a psychological evaluation
"The government has concerns he might melt down. There is no such real concern and its going to be addressed," said defense attorney David Howard.
Those close to Mangione left court in a hurry, refusing to comment on the allegations.
Mangione was first placed on leave from his job, five months ago, after a task force began looking into an alert that he had received images of child pornography on his home computer.
The probe grew culminating in his arrest Tuesday outside a grocery store in Coral Springs.
Ironically, as special agent in charge of ICE's South Florida office Mangione often investigated child predators along with suspected terrorists and drug traffickers
The next stop for Mangione is a psychological evaluation. He'll return to federal court in two weeks at which time a judge will consider releasing him before his trial.
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