Suspect arrested for possession of child pornography

By BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

A Ridgecrest man is being tried for possession of child pornography after his arrest by officers of the Ridgecrest Police Department in September. The suspect, Jeffrey Hansen, 49, was reportedly in possession of thousands of pornographic photographs and videos. After his arrest the case was handed off to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“I’ve never seen anything like this here,” said Interim Police Chief Jed McLaughlin. He said the content, which he could only handle viewing a small portion of, was “extremely graphic.”

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office reported as early as January 2016 on multiple cyber tips regarding an area Internet user downloading child pornography. This July a Victorville judge approved the SBSO’s search warrants to allow law enforcement officials access to Frontier Communications’ user traffic to zero in on the suspect.

Officials were able to track the Internet Protocol address to an account belonging to Barbara McPheron (deceased) in the 200 block of East Kashmir Lane. After further investigation, RPD officers determined Hansen to be the user. After obtaining a warrant, they contacted the suspect at the residence where they located an assault rifle and several electronic devices containing the illicit media.

To date, the FBI lab has reportedly discovered more than 4,000 photographs and 2,000 videos. More than 100 of the recovered videos have been classified as torture.

According to U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2252, first-time offenders can be sentenced up to 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography, but the severe nature of some of the content could result in an increased penalty.

Hansen’s pre-preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 7 in Ridgecrest. His bail is set at $250,000.

Story First Published: 2017-12-01