FBI agents arrested the 73-year-old at his home in East Moriches, Friday morning.
He is accused of taking picture of children in public settings and then superimposing their heads onto the bodies of adults in sexual situations.
Some images included those in which Sears allegedly pasted his own facial images onto the bodies of other males so as to appear as if he were having sexual relations with children.
Prosecutors say the investigation started when hundreds of the altered images were found in the trash.
Sears also runs his own charitable organization for troubled families.
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment.
Parents who believe that their children may have been the victims of persons involved in child pornography should contact the Suffolk County Computer Crimes Squad at (631) 852-6279, or the Federal Bureau of Investigation at (631) 501-8600.
Get Eyewitness News Delivered