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Ex-U.S. Naval Academy midshipman arrested for possessing child porn

DENVER (Reuters) - A former U.S. Naval Academy midshipman has been arrested by police in Colorado on suspicion of possessing child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child, authorities said on Friday.

Bret Michael Butler, 22, was taken into custody on Thursday at his apartment in Boulder, after police there received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

A search of Butler's cell phone and two computers - one of them a Dell laptop he told police had been issued to him by the Naval Academy - contained more than 20 images of underage children "engaged in sexual acts and/or poses," according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in the case.

Academy spokesman Commander John Schofield said that Butler had separated from the academy in December 2012.

Boulder police said in a statement that Butler posed online as an underage female in order to communicate with juveniles.

"Once he established communication, he requested sexually explicit photos and then shared them online with other users," the statement said.

Butler is being held on a $200,000 bond, and on Friday was advised of the allegations against him. A spokeswoman with the Boulder County District Attorney's Office said the formal filing of charges will come next week.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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