State worker arrested on child pornography charges days after adopting 4 kids

John Daniel Brooks (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

An Eagle River man with four adopted foster children faces charges that he viewed and possessed child pornography. A malware alert on his state-issued computer led technology staff to discover the files.

Federal agents arrested John Daniel Brooks, 51, on Thursday. State records show Brooks is an analyst-programmer for the Department of Environmental Conservation.

According to the charges, Brooks was working from home, and an external hard drive connected to his work computer triggered a malware alert. The charges say IT workers looking into the alert Monday found Brooks had used the computer to download child pornography, and they reported it to the FBI.

An FBI agent discovered Wednesday that Brooks was a registered foster parent with whom the state Office of Children’s Services had placed four children, ages 1 to 13, according to the charges. Brooks and his wife had officially adopted the children just one day earlier, on Tuesday, the charges say.

Agents searched Brooks’ home and devices and found hundreds of digital images of child pornography hidden in various computer folders. When they asked him, Brooks said he was sexually attracted to children, the charges say.

Brooks denied abusing children or producing or distributing images, according to the charges. But he admitted he’d agreed to become an assistant with one of his daughters’ scouting group, in part because of his attraction to children, according to the charges.

Brooks did not have an attorney listed as of Friday. Federal prosecutors declined to comment.

According to the state Division of Personnel, Brooks has worked for the Department of Environmental Conservation since 2010. He was placed on unpaid leave this week.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is asking anyone with further information about Brooks’ activities to call the FBI at (907) 276-4441.

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