Crime - Sacto 911

Lassen County man heads to prison in child pornography case

A 43-year-old Lassen County man has been sentenced to seven years and six months in prison for receiving child pornography.

Bruce Austin Watkins of Westwood, a community east of Lake Almanor, will be subject also to 36 months of supervised release following his time in prison, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton sentenced him today.

Court documents show law enforcement officers searched Watkins’ residence on May 6, 2013, and seized two laptop computers and an external hard drive. The devices contained 500 videos and 220 images of child pornography Watkins collected between Jan. 21, 2007, and April 29, 2013, the recrods show.

Among the files were images depicting violent sexual molestation of children as young as toddlers, authorities said. At the time of the search, Watkins told officers that he had been looking for child pornography online for 15 to 20 years.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Northern Nevada Child Exploitation Task Force.