POLICE: Child porn downloaded at Merced daycare facility, man arrested

Local News

Photo of Joel Damian Ortega provided by the Merced County Sheriff’s Department

MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A man has been arrested on suspicion of downloading child pornography at an in-home daycare facility on Thursday, according to the Merced Police Department.

Just after 9:00 a.m., detectives served a search warrant on the 300 block of Citadel Avenue in Merced after receiving a tip that someone was downloading child pornography in the residence.

While serving the search warrant, detectives say they discovered that the residence was a licensed in-home daycare facility.

Police say the suspect, Joel Damian Ortega, 32 of Merced, admitted to downloading and distributing child pornography during questioning by detectives.

Officials say an unregistered, unsecured firearm and ammunition were also found in the residence.

According to authorities, the firearm belonged to Ortega and was found in an area that was “easily accessible to children,” in the daycare facility.

The Merced Police Department says Ortega was booked into the Merced County Jail for possession of child pornography, child endangerment and possession of an unregistered firearm.

Police say although Ortega lived at the residence, he was not an employee of the daycare business.

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