Two burglars who thought they had stolen blank CDs to record music on, instead found multiple child pornographic images on the discs and helped the Merced County Sheriff’s Department investigators find the man believed to have downloaded the images.
Kraig Stockard, 54, of Delhi was booked into the Merced County Jail on charges of possessing child pornography.
Sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie said investigators have uncovered thousands of pornographic images and movies of children and are still sifting through multiple computers and laptops.
The investigation into Stockard began after he reported someone had broken into his barn in the 13000 block of El Capitan Way.
The two people suspected of breaking into the barn contacted the sheriff’s department on their own accord. MacKenzie said a 19-year-old and a juvenile broke into Stockard’s barn and stole what they believed were 50 blank CDs. The two teens took the CDs to a family member and asked to have music recorded on them. When the family member put the discs into a computer, multiple child pornography images came up, MacKenzie said. After seeing the content of the discs, the two teens contacted the sheriff’s department.
More than 30 of the 50 CDs taken had child pornography images on them, MacKenzie said.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force joined with sheriff investigators to serve a search warrant for Stockard’s property, where they confiscated three computers and three laptops, as well as several external hard drives.
Stockard has admitted to possessing the pornography, but would not state if any more images were stored on the computers or hard drives, MacKenzie said.
Investigators believe Stockard had been downloading child pornography since 2004.
Stockard is free on a $25,000 bail.
The two burglary suspects were not arrested, but their case has been turned over to the Merced County District Attorney’s Office for review.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail email@example.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.