A former news producer for a Los Angeles-based television network was indicted Thursday for allegedly distributing more than 100 child pornographic images and videos.
Phil Drechsler, 60, worked for KNBC-TV, NBC’s LA affiliate station, until February.
He allegedly shared 117 videos and nine images depicting child pornography in an online community of individuals who sent and received illegal images.
A Los Angeles news producer was indicted today on federal charges for distribution of child pornography.
He was part of an online community that shared CSAM & was found to have shared over 117 videos & 9 images.
Say Hi to Phil Drechsler from NBCs LA affiliate station, KNBC. pic.twitter.com/wM0KTAGEDM
— dara faye (@darafaye) May 5, 2023
Drechsler was arrested last month in Ohio and is being brought back to California to face charges.
Phil Drechsler’s wife told investigators that her husband had driven to Ohio the previous week, taking his shotgun and two pistols with him. He was arrested in that state. https://t.co/ppt6M2aR8D
— The Pug (@thepugnews) May 5, 2023
A Los Angeles federal grand jury returned the indictment Thursday on three counts of distribution of child pornography. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment with a possible maximum of up to 20 years, prosecutors noted.
According to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint April 18 in Los Angeles federal court, Drechsler, using the alias “Karen Flores,” was a member of an online community of people who regularly sent and received illegal images via a group chat.
Authorities executing a search warrant last month at Drechsler’s home allegedly found what appeared to be child sexual abuse material in the recently deleted photo album folder of his cell phone, according to the affidavit signed by FBI Special Agent Chelsea Malone.
Drechsler’s wife told investigators that her husband had driven to Ohio the previous week, taking his shotgun and two pistols with him, Malone wrote.
Los Angeles Daily News added:
The woman stated that Drechsler had left the majority of his belongings behind and told his wife to donate them, and that he did not intend to return home, the document says.
Drechsler had apparently told his wife that he “had nothing to live for and that he wanted to kill himself,” according to the affidavit.
Drechsler tweeted in February that he had been laid off from KNBC. He had apparently worked at the station for 11 years.
“Short story: I was offered a buyout, turned it down, was laid off with all the provisions of the buyout,” he tweeted. “I’ll skip the long story.”
He also posted: “I still feel young. Let’s see what the next chapter brings.”