BRATTLEBORO -- A Brattleboro man who was arrested Nov. 21, 2013, and charged with being in possession of child pornography pleaded guilty on May 16 and could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

According to court documents, Grant L. Klein, 33, was initially transferred to the Greenbelt Division of Maryland for prosecution because the computer server he used to access child pornography was located there. But he was sent back to Vermont and all charges in Maryland were dropped.

Following an investigation, Klein's Western Avenue home was searched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Brattleboro Police Department on Nov. 21. Klein reportedly admitted to investigators that he accessed child pornography for sexual gratification. The search warrant was issued by a federal judge in Maryland.

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

The website Klein accessed in Maryland 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 has been monitoring the server and each time a user accessed it, information was sent "to a computer either known to or controlled by the government.


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" 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." That IP address was tracked down to Klein's home in Brattleboro.

Klein's sentencing date has not yet been set, but upon completion of his prison term, he could be placed on life-time parole. He has been in custody since his arrest.

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