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NU man faces eight porn charges

Investigated by Minneapolis Police and Minnesota Cybercrime Task Force

January 10, 2014
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

NEW ULM - A 27-year-old New Ulm man was charged with eight felony charges of dissemination and possession of pornographic work involving minors Tuesday in Brown County District Court.

Charges against Barry J. Hinkelman, 426 N. State St., follow an eight-month, undercover investigation by Minneapolis Police and the Minnesota Cybercrime Task Force and Undercover Investigative Software (UIS), according to the complaint.

The software is used in national and international peer-to-peer file sharing investigations to download child pornography files from a host computer at an Internet IP address. The software keeps many connected host IP addresses, connection time, unique user ID, username, and host software similar to other file sharing clients free and available to the public, according to the complaint.

Minneapolis Police sent queries to peer-to-peer servers for files previously identified as child pornography that responded that a host computer reported it had known or suspected child pornography files from Oct. 17, 2011 to July 29, 2012.

A unique user hash was located for the host computer using peer-to-peer software. The IP address was found to be managed by Comcast Communications. Administrative subpoenas were sent to Comcast, which listed the subscriber living at 426 N. State St, according to the complaint.

On Aug. 29, 2012, a New Ulm Police investigator sought a search warrant at the residence for seizure of a computer and related digital storage devices. On Sept. 11, 2012, New Ulm Police executed the search warrant and interviewed Hinkelman.

Police seized a computer, Hinkelman's cell phone and other electronic storage devices. Police used a forensic machine to connect each of the hard drives and create a forensic copy of the hard drive without causing any changes to it. A bookmark (IE History Index) contained entries and file paths of files that were viewed including 188 thumbnail images of what appeared to be child pornography.

Hinkelman's first court appearance was set for 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 28.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

 
 

 

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