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DeKalb man charged with possession of child porn in bomb threat case

Search led to bomb squad being called to Lincoln Tower

Brenton C. Strobert, 26, of the 1100 block of W. Lincoln Highway
Brenton C. Strobert, 26, of the 1100 block of W. Lincoln Highway

A DeKalb man whose apartment was searched by police Wednesday, during which a substance was found that later had to be destroyed by a bomb squad, has been charged with possession of child pornography and failure to register as a sex offender.

Brenton C. Strobert, 26, of the 1100 block of West Lincoln Highway, a resident of the Lincoln Tower apartment complex, faces charges of child pornography and failure to register as a sex offender. If convicted of the more serious crimes of child pornography, he could face up to 60 years in prison.

According to a news release from the DeKalb Police Department, police assisted the Illinois Attorney General’s Office in servING a search warrant at Strobert’s Lincoln Tower apartment about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The Attorney General’s Office obtained the warrant for Strobert’s home after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip about an image of child pornography, and an investigation led the officials to believe child pornography would be found in Strobert’s home.

During the search, multiple images of child pornography were discovered, the release said, along with a substance police believed warranted a call to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office’s ’s Bomb Unit.

In court Thursday, David Haslett, bureau chief for high-tech crimes with the Attorney General’s Office, said that investigators had found thousands of videos and images of child pornography on Strobert’s electronic equipment.

Haslett also said that Strobert had used several programs, such as TOR internet browser and the Telegram texting app that would encrypt and hide his internet activity. On the Telegram app specifically, Haslett said Strobert was the administrator of a chat group with nearly 1,000 members.

In a private chat, Haslett said, Strobert had admitted to having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

According to court documents, the file names of some of the videos and images indicate children as young as 2 years old involved, as well as animals.

Strobert pleaded guilty to child porn charges in 2015, according to court documents. He is required to register as a sex offender. According to court documents, when he last registered in December 2018, he did not list his place of employment.

DeKalb interim Police Chief John Petragallo said Wednesday night that booms heard around the city were the bomb squad safely destroying the substance at an off-site location under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the DeKalb Fire Department and the bomb unit.

DeKalb police arrested Strobert at his place of employment Wednesday, the release said. An investigation into the suspicious substance is ongoing, police said.

Strobert was released from the DeKalb County Jail on Thursday on his signature, but will be on electronic home monitoring and prohibited from contact with any children, using the internet, computers and all phones.

Judge Phillip Montgomery said, in ordering bond, that Haslett should make him aware of any further charges relating to the bomb-making materials found in the apartment or the reported admission of sex with a minor and he would consider a motion to alter bond.

He is next due in DeKalb County court at 9 a.m. Dec. 6.

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