Co-Worker Finds Child Porn on Flash Drive (CA Penal Code 311.1 – 311.11)

A Citrus Heights man (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) is possibly one of the most careless criminals alive.  Otherwise, he’s one of the unluckiest men on the planet. He worked as a security guard at a Los Lagos and, after his shift ended, forgot to take his flash drive with him.  He couldn’t be bothered to go back and get it himself, so he called up a co-worker and asked that his thumb drive be placed safely in his mail slot in the office.  What he didn’t count on is the fact that his co-worker would be nosy enough to look through the flash drive before placing it carefully where it belonged. His fellow employee found images of child pornography.  Police believe that they have enough evidence to link him to the images and to images they may find on his home computer.

Possession of child pornography is taken quite seriously in the state of California (CA Penal Code 311.1, 311.2, 311.3, 311.4, 311.10, and 311.11).  A violation of each of these is a separate crime.  For example, CA PC 311.11 makes it a crime to possess any pornographic images or materials that involve children under the age of 18.  However, if you print, re-produce, or in any way exchange images of child pornography, this is covered under CA PC 311.3.  Furthermore, other sections of the law make it illegal to distribute or possess with the intent of distribution (CA PC 311.1 and CA PC 311.2) or to advertise for the purchase of child pornography.  In California, this crime is a ‘wobbler,’ meaning that it may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the discretion of prosecutors.  If you are convicted of a violation of California’s child pornography laws and it were charged with a misdemeanor, then you may only face a $2,500 fine and 1 year in county jail.  However, a felony conviction could result in up to 8 years in state prison, fines of up to $100,000 and lifetime registration as a sex offender.