Kern County firefighter linked to uploaded child porn files in part through work schedule: reports

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — After receiving a report through Internet Crimes Against Children regarding uploaded files containing child pornography, sheriff’s investigators discovered the IP address used was assigned to a Kern County Fire station.

The address was assigned to Station 25 in Buttonwillow, and other records indicated the user had a Kik messaging account, according to court documents filed by investigators in Superior Court.

Upon obtaining a work schedule for Station 25, the documents say, investigators found only one person was assigned to work and was present when each internet connection was made: Christopher Vega.

Vega, 35, is charged with child porn possession after investigators found more than 600 illegal images and videos on electronic devices seized at the station and his home in Santa Barbara County, according to the filings.

He’s held on $2 million bail.

That amount was requested after detectives learned Vega has about $1 million invested in stocks, and his house is worth $1.2 million, the filings say.

“Based on the fact this is a high-profile case involving Christopher Vega, and the fact Christopher Vega’s assets are worth millions of dollars, there is probable cause to believe Christopher Vega is a flight risk who may flee the country,” a detective wrote in a document seeking high bail.

Detectives arrested Vega on Dec. 20 at his home, where his mother answered the door, the filings say. A cellphone in his possession was seized.

Days earlier, Vega was questioned at the fire station. He denied involvement in child exploitation and refused to give further comment until he spoke with an attorney, the filings say. Investigators seized a cellphone from him.

Later, a fire captain called detectives and reported Vega had retrieved a black laptop bag from the dayroom section of the station after they left, according to the documents. That area had not been searched.

The captain seized the bag and turned it over to investigators. Inside were two cellphones, a flash drive, a solid-state drive (which performs functions similar to a hard drive) and a memory card, according to the documents.

Vega has pleaded no guilty and his next court hearing is set for Jan. 11.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

More Local News