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Cohoes man arrested in int'l child porn bust

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Updated: 8/04/2011 6:50 pm
Saratoga Street is a main road through the City of Cohoes. Those walking by Thursday say they're disturbed that a man living at 141 has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a worldwide child pornography ring.

"That's kind of surprising to hear," says Mike Izzo. "Especially this close to home."

"I'm shocked because you would think Cohoes is such a small town but then again, that's where a lot of things happen," says Vicky Thibodeau.

Benet Schmidt is one of 72 people from more than a dozen countries that federal authorities say were members of the "Dreamboard" club, a private online bulletin board displaying images of child sexual abuse.

"The board may have been the vehicle for the distribution of up to 123 terabytes of child pornography, which is roughly equivalent to nearly 16-thousand DVD's," says Janet Napolitano, with Homeland Security.

Officials call the images "horrific," saying members were encouraged to create and post their own porn with children 11-years-old or younger, even specifying that the victims be in pain.

"This is an encouragement of the torture of children for sexual gratification," says Neil O'Callaghan, with the Federal Cyber Crimes Center.

Authorities say Schmidt joined "Dreamboard" in 2009 under the screen name "Brazthumper." They say he made 70 posts. Agents say they were able to track Schmidt down using his IP address. He was arrested and now faces child pornography charges.

FOX23 News stopped by Schmidt's home Thursday for comment but no one came to the door.
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