Former Porterville fire marshal facing child pornography charges
PORTERVILLE – A recently retired fire marshal with the Porterville Fire Department was arrested earlier this month for allegedly possessing child pornography.
Loran Blasdell had been with the Porterville Fire Department for 30 years, most recently serving as a battalion chief, before retiring in October of last year. He is now facing two felony charges that could land him in jail for several years.
The investigation into Blasdell began after another firefighter was assigned to Blasdell’s old desk at the fire department. The firefighter found three CDs in the desk which contained explicit images of children, some as young as six years old.
Investigators say that the discs contained data that was directly linked back to Blasdell. After a month-long investigation, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force turned the case over to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.
Assistant District Attorney Shani Jenkins said that her office made the decision to file two felony accounts of possession of child pornography against Blasdell. She said that both charges carry a maximum of three years in prison.
Although there were allegedly more than 100 files of inappropriate photos of children, investigators wrote specifically about two photos in the criminal complaint. The complaint states that the crimes were committed in November of 2011 and May of 2012.
Blasdell pled not guilty to the charges on May 18 and bailed out of jail shortly afterward. He is scheduled to be back in court next month.
Porterville Recorder: Retired city battalion chief facing child porn charges