A federal official confirmed Friday that a teacher at Cooperstown High School is facing a charge related to involvement with child pornography after being arrested in Springfield one day earlier.

Law enforcement sources said Justin Hobbie, a physical education teacher and a former girls' soccer coach at the high school, has been accused of involvement with child pornography.

Hobbie, 41, of Springfield Center, was arrested on charges that he received and distributed child pornography over the internet, the U.S. Attorney's office in Albany confirmed.

The case is still under investigation.

A recorded message was sent via the school messaging system around noon, saying that federal officials have notified the school of the charges, and that there is no evidence that any Cooperstown student was involved.

A witness told CNHI, the parent company of The Daily Star, that agents with the federal Department of Homeland Security, went to Hobbie's home in Springfield, along with state troopers.

Efforts to reach Cooperstown Central School Superintendent William Crankshaw were not immediately successful. A school employee said Crankshaw was at his office Friday morning but was involved in a meeting.

No information about Hobbie's interaction with federal agents was available on the school system's website.

Hobbie is also a member of the town of Springfield planning board, a town official confirmed. The official indicated he was unaware of Hobbie's arrest.

Hobbie, a married father with young children, resigned as coach of the school's modified girls' soccer coach, effective Sept. 5, according to the minutes of the Sept. 19 meeting of the school board governing the Cooperstown district.

Hobbie's arrest was confirmed by an official with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE is an agency under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The official said more information about the arrest is expected to be released to the public once it is confirmed that court documents have been unsealed. The official indicated that Hobbie is being prosecuted by the United State's Attorney's Office, a branch of the Justice Department.

While ICE has been known for its work to locate people who entered the United States illegally, it has also had a far-reaching involvement in investigating child pornography and sexual crimes against children.

The agency's website highlights ICE's involvement in Operation Predator, noting that ICE created the National Child Victim Identification System in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the Department of Justice, the Internet Crimes Against Children task forces and other agencies.

Joe Mahoney covers the New York Statehouse for CNHI’s newspapers and websites. Reach him at jmahoney@cnhi.com

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