BRATTLEBORO -- A Brattleboro man is being held pending arraignment on federal charges of being in possession of child pornography.

According to documents filed with the U.S. Federal Court for the District of Vermont, Grant L. Klein, 33, admitted to law enforcement agents that he downloaded child pornography from the Internet for the purposes of sexual gratification.

On Nov. 21, the Brattleboro Police Department assisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the serving of a search warrant on Klein’s Western Avenue home. The search warrant was approved by a federal judge in Maryland after an FBI agent filed an affidavit alleging Klein accessed an online image board containing thousands of images depicting child pornography.

During the interview on Nov. 21, Klein also admitted to federal agents that in August he destroyed a hard drive on a computer in his home because he was concerned about having "evidence" around.

"Klein further stated that after destroying the hard drive, he subsequently used a smartphone device to access websites including child pornography," notes the affidavit. "Images depicting minors ... engaged in sexually explicit conduct, were located on a smartphone in the home that Klein admitted was his."

A federal judge in Maryland issued the search warrant because the image board server is located in that state, according to the affidavit. The website operated a computer network that is designed to allow users to communicate and share files anonymously by obscuring a user’s IP address by routing communications through multiple computers. However, the federal government was monitoring the server in Maryland and each time a user accessed it information was sent "to a computer either known to or controlled by the government," noted the affidavit. That computer was used to help identify an actual IP address and session identifier on Aug. 4 in which a user accessed six web pages containing 171 images, approximately 65 of which related to "child exploitation material or similar content," stated the affidavit. That IP address was tracked down to Klein’s home in Brattleboro.

"Klein admitted to using the computer network on which the website under investigation operated, which network he referred to by name, and to accessing, viewing and downloading child pornography on multiple websites that operated on that network," stated the affidavit.

According to a press release from the Brattleboro Police Department, Klein was transported to Burlington where he is awaiting arraignment on two charges -- receipt or attempted receipt of child pornography and access with intent to view child pornography.

Bob Audette can be reached at raudette@reformer.com, or at 802-254-2311, ext. 160. Follow Bob on Twitter @audette.reformer.