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More suspicious materials found, destroyed by bomb squad in ongoing child porn case

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

DeKALB – More suspected explosives linked to a DeKalb man facing child pornography charges were destroyed overnight Saturday, DeKalb police said.

According to a news release sent about 2 a.m. Saturday (a City of DeKalb alert text and phone call also went out), police on Friday began searching a storage unit belonging to Brenton C. Strobert, 26, of the 1100 block of West Lincoln Highway.

A loud boom could be heard about 2 a.m. after the Kane County Bomb Squad destroyed a substance police determined was too dangerous to be transported and needed to be immediately detonated in a controlled explosion.

When reached for comment, Petragallo said he didn’t have any new information beyond what was released in the release, and the investigation still is ongoing.

The search was part of an ongoing investigation into materials found in Strobert’s Lincoln Tower apartment. Police said along with suspected explosives, they found thousands of images of child pornography on electronic equipment belonging to Strobert. He faces charges of child pornography and failure to register as a sex offender. If convicted of child pornography, he could face up to 60 years in prison.

It is the second time Strobert has faced child pornography charges; he was sentenced to three years in prison in connection with a 2014 case in DeKalb County, court records show.

Strobert has not been charged with anything in connection with the suspected explosives police have detonated this week.

Police did not disclose the storage unit’s location, but said it was away from residential neighborhoods, according to the release. While searching, police found additional materials that were “cause for concern,” according to the release, and for a second time called in the Kane County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad and the FBI.

The bomb squad detonated the materials in a controlled explosion about 2 a.m. Saturday, when residents may have heard a loud boom resonate across town.

The squad on Wednesday exploded other potentially explosive material after they discovered it in Strobert’s apartment with thousands of images of child porn. Multiple loud booms were heard across town Wednesday night, and DeKalb interim Police Chief John Petragallo said the noise was the bomb squad destroying the substance.

The materials were taken to a remote area on the east side of DeKalb and destroyed under the supervision of the DeKalb Police and Fire Departments, FBI and the bomb squad, according to the release. The investigation still is ongoing.

In 2014, Strobert was charged with child pornography after police said he borrowed someone’s laptop and used it to upload sexual images, some of children younger than 13. He told police at the time that he had a problem with attraction to children since he was 15 or 16.

He was sentenced to three years in prison by Judge Robbin Stuckert in February 2015, and is listed on the Illinois sex offender registry as a sexual predator.

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