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Published April 04 2012

Fargo man faces federal child pornography charges

FARGO – A 30-year-old Fargo man faces federal criminal charges for allegedly possessing more than 200,000 images and 1,000 videos depicting acts of child pornography.

A criminal complaint was filed this week in Fargo’s U.S. District Court against John Robert Ehlen. He’s being held in the Cass County Jail pending a detention hearing on Friday.

According to the federal complaint, state investigators zeroed in on Ehlen after conducting a routine online investigation of IP addresses known to be sharing images of child pornography.

The IP address registered to Ehlen’s home at 1601 6th St. S. was among those flagged by authorities.

State investigators said Ehlen’s IP address accessed images of child pornography on at least three dates last year: Dec. 1, Nov. 28 and Aug. 26.

On Jan. 11, Fargo police executed a search warrant at Ehlen’s home, and Ehlen reportedly admitted to using eMule, a peer-to-peer file-sharing software program, to search for, view and download images of child pornography.

Authorities said Ehlen told them he’d viewed videos and images of children as young as 6 years old.

He said he’d saved the images on his computer and on an external hard drive, both of which were seized by police.