A Newberg man is behind bars in connection with a major child pornography operation.
Richard Tietjens, 62, was arraigned Thursday before a U.S. magistrate on federal charges. Police say he was in possession of thousands of child sex abuse images.
The investigation began back in 2011 as part of an undercover operation regarding online sexual exploitation of children. The forensic examination was conducted by the Newberg-Dundee Computer Crimes Unit.
After serving a search warrant at the suspect's home on the 700 block East 5th St. in Newberg, detectives say they uncovered 10,000 images of child sex abuse, and more than 4,500 videos of children being sexually abused.
Investigators also seized two servers with another 12 hard drives connected to them from Tietjens' garage. One server was allegedly used to download child pornography, the other to share it using a peer-to-peer software program.
Together, those servers contained more than 15 terabytes of storage space.
"It's a shock. He's a recluse and we never saw him, "said neighbor Damon Cooper. "That's just dumbfounding, really. It's a lot of data."
Tietjens' home is a block away from a local school and the Newberg School District Office.
"I mean, my grandson goes there, and my grandkids play in the yard, the neighbor kids play in their yard. It's a scary thought that he would be in our neighborhood, with no one knowing," said neighbor Janet Schneider.
Police say Tietjens is an IT employee who built his own computer and servers at home. He was allegedly trading child porn through email, instant messenger and the peer-to-peer program.
Prosecutors say he is likely addicted to child pornography based on the size of the collection he had amassed, and have requested he remains behind bars, pending his trial.
U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall praised the work of the Newberg-Dundee Police Department and stated:
"The allegations in this case illustrate how innovations in technology have exponentially increased the volume of images of child abuse that one person can amass. Each image of child pornography represents a separate and distinct harm to the child whose abuse is depicted."
Newberg-Dundee Police Captain Jeff Kosmicki said their Computer Crimes Unit forwarded relevant information to other federal agencies in other jurisdictions that led to additional search warrants being issued and executed.
The magistrate continued Thursday's hearing until Monday at the government's request to allow a forensic examiner to conduct a preliminary review of the newly seized computers to determine whether any of the devices contain additional child pornography.
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