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NU man faces 30 porn possession counts

NEW ULM — Thirty counts of felony possession of pornography, including 14 counts of possession of pornography of a minor under 14, were filed Sept. 15 against a 40-year-old New Ulm man in Brown County District Court.

Bail was set at $75,000 without conditions, $15,000 with conditions Friday for Brett D. Mathiowetz, 16256 Oakwood Heights Road. A hearing was set for 9:30 a.m., Nov. 1.

Mathiowetz was arrested late Thursday afternoon and transported to the Brown County Jail.

According to court documents, Brown County Sheriff’s Office investigator Andrew Koneche received a message June 8 from a Minneapolis Police Department officer assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, regarding an internet peer-to-peer child pornography possession and distribution case.

The message involved an internet-based investigation into a Brown County IP address that was sharing files believed to contain child pornography. The suspect’s home to which the IP address was traced was 16256 Oakwood Heights Road in Brown County.

The ICAC Officer’s report detailed a computer on the suspect’s IP address that was sharing files in 2016 that contained names associated with child pornography. Some of the files contained videos from a known child porn series. Other files shared contained names associated with a local business to which Mathiowetz was known to be connected.

The report detailed a computer on Mathiowetz’s IP address sharing files in 2022 that the ICAC officer downloaded filed that contained names associated with child porn from Feb. 26-28. Other files shared during the same time period contained names associated with a local business to which Mathiowetz was connected.

A search warrant was executed June 21 at the New Ulm residence. A laptop computer and other computer items were seized as evidence after the laptop was booted and showed the user name as Mathiowetz and multiple file names associated with child porn.

The ICAC officer found evidence of digital child porn activity on the laptop from Feb. 26-28. In addition, the officer found evidence that 75 emails and attachments were created on the laptop in Mathiowetz’ user account. The emails came from a known email address associated with Mathiowetz.

Twenty-three child porn image files were found in a digital thumbnail database file.

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