Tehachapi man indicted on child pornography charges

FRESNO, Calif. - A federal grand jury returned an indictment today against Thomas Bettis, 53, of Tehachapi, charging him with two counts of receipt and distribution of child pornography, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, between October 2011 and March 2013, Bettis downloaded and distributed graphic images of child pornography. In order to trade and obtain more images of child pornography, Bettis communicated with at least two individuals—one of whom was an undercover law enforcement officer.

Bettis was arrested on August 27, 2014, and he has been ordered detained as a danger to the community. His next court date is September 10 before a magistrate judge.

For each count, Bettis faces a prison sentence of between five and 20 years, a potential $250,000 fine, and a lifetime term of supervised release.

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