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Danville man charged with sharing child pornography, hacking computer accounts

27-year-old booked into jail with $1.5 million bail

A Danville man accused of accessing the online storage accounts of women and girls he knew to get revealing pictures of them was indicted last week on child pornography charges and other violations, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Nickolas Robert Thurston, 27, was arrested Tuesday by Danville police on the charges and booked into Martinez Detention Facility with bail set at $1.5 million, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

Thurston is accused of conspiring with another person -- whom prosecutors did not identify -- to access protected cloud storage accounts of women and girls between January and May 24, when investigators searched his home on Buena Vista Drive.

Prosecutors allege evidence of child pornography was found at his home during the search and that he operated a website too to distribute the images, including a 9-year-old girl engaged in sexual activity.

A county grand jury Thursday indicted Thurston on two counts of distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography, four counts of identity theft, three counts of accessing a protected computer system and conspiracy to commit computer theft.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of about five years in prison and being required to register as a sex offender.

The investigation was led by the county's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that includes detectives from the Concord, Martinez, Walnut Creek, Moraga and San Ramon police departments as well as investigators from the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office, DA's Office, the Contra Costa County Probation Department and federal law enforcement.

In announcing the indictment, prosecutors also took the opportunity to remind people to periodically change the passwords for their accounts, among other tips to help prevent online crimes.

— Bay City News Service

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