Following a tip from investigators in the United States who had successfully broken up a child porn ring in 2008, police in Sweden raided the man’s home in Österlen, uncovering 35,000 pictures and 725 videos featuring child pornography stored on CDs and DVDs.
Over 2,000 of the images and 222 of the films were of an “especially ruthless nature,” according to the local Sydsvenskan newspaper.
During questioning by police, the man admitted that he had been a collector of child pornography since the internet was at its infancy.
However, he claimed he was only collecting the material because he despised child pornography, and was trying himself to track down others partaking in such crimes.
The self-proclaimed computer expert was able to use his skills to avoid detection for nearly 20 years.
But after US investigators succeeded in breaking up a child porn ring in Tennessee in 2008, they were able to trace more than 1,000 images sent to a person caught in the sting back to the 38-year-old in Sweden.
On Tuesday, more than three years after Swedish police originally raided the man’s home, he was charged with serious child pornography crimes, which could be punished with up to six years in prison.