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Investigators uncovered thousands of suspected child porn images on a Duluth man's computer after acting on a recently received cybertip, according to newly filed criminal charges.

Edward D. Austin, 48 years old, was charged in St. Louis County District Court Monday with five counts of child porn possession, with the victim in each count believed to be under the age of 14. 

Authorities say a cybtertip related to an ongoing investigation led them to Austin, with the Duluth Police Department, Homeland Security agents, members of the Lake Superior Forensic Technology and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and additional law enforcement agencies executing a search warrant at his apartment in the Endion neighborhood on Friday morning.

Austin was arrested and booked into St. Louis County Jail at noon that day, according to court records.

Authorities seized an HP laptop and other electronic devices, and according to the criminal complaint found "a plethora of pornography," including suspected child porn. Further forensic investigation uncovered "thousands of files of suspected child pornography," the charges state, including graphic GIF and image files of prepubescent children being sexually assaulted.

The charges indicate he downloaded some of the files between July 2020 and December 2021.

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Authorities submitted many of the files to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which was able to identify 24 different child victims, the complaint says. 

Austin, prosecutors allege, admitted to law enforcement they would find child porn on both his laptop and a flash drive. 

He made an initial court appearance Monday and has an omnibus hearing scheduled for March 22, according to court filings.

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