When agents from the Homeland Security Department, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and other federal agencies descended in force on a tiny town in Illinois on Thursday, residents (and the rest of the country) were baffled.
We didn't have to wait long to find out why the agents were there — it was for a child porn bust.
Robert E. Godsey, 34, was charged Friday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis with a slew of child pornography offenses, the Belleville News Democrat reported.
The federal agents, backed up by local law enforcement, assembled at the Livingston, Illinois elementary school and at a second location nearby before storming Godsey's home on Thursday.
They reportedly recovered roughly 600 videos and more than 1,000 images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct from Godsey's home.
Godsey told authorities he had been collecting child pornography since he was 17, before he was legally an adult, the Belleville News Democrat reported.
So why did one child pornography bust require so much manpower?
"It's better to be over-prepared," said Jim Porter, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Illinois.
He declined to comment further on the massive use of force that briefly overwhelmed the town of Livingston, population: 850.
Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter