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John Stephen Pichon, an American registered sex offender, is in custody in Lethbridge. ((Office of the California Attorney General))

A registered sex offender in California has been charged with two child pornography offences in Canada after being arrested at the Alberta-Montana border.

Canada Border Services Agency officers found a significant number of graphic images, both photos and video, on a computer during a search of a vehicle trying to cross into Alberta at Coutts, about 300 kilometres south of Calgary, on Monday.

John Stephen Pichon, 46, of Oxnard, Calif., has been charged with possession of child pornography and importation of child pornography. He appeared in Lethbridge provincial court on Thursday and was remanded into custody, said the RCMP on Friday.

According to the California sex offender registry, Pichon was convicted of committing lewd or lascivious acts with a child younger than 14.

RCMP Sgt. Patrick Webb said investigators will have to analyze thousands of files on the seized computer.

"Until then, all I can say is there's thousands of files on that computer, but they have to be properly analyzed and determined if they fall under the child pornography definition."

Webb said the investigation is also looking into why Pichon was driving into Alberta.

"[Was the trip of a] personal nature or what the intention [was] … if the child pornography figured into his time in Canada or not, that's part of the investigation," said Webb.