ANCHORAGE - Officials claim a 12-year veteran of the city's police department admitted to owning hundreds of photographs and videos of child pornography, including images stored on the laptop computer in his patrol car.
Pictures and videos discovered in Officer Bryan Herrera's home and in his cruiser included children as young as a year old performing sexual acts, according to charging documents. Investigators also said Herrera set up a hidden camera in the bedroom of a 16-year-old relative who was visiting the family.
Herrera, 42, was arrested and arraigned Tuesday on three counts of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography. He's the second Anchorage police officer to face child pornography charges this year.
Herrera was being held on $100,000 cash bail at the Anchorage Jail.
He admitted to possessing about 1,000 pornographic videos and photographs, of both adults and children, and told police he had been downloading child pornography from the Internet, charging documents say.
His wife, Janelle, told police she had discovered images of minors in sexual poses on the family computer about four months ago, the documents say. She said she had threatened to leave her husband unless he got help.
Herrera's young daughter and her friend discovered the concealed camera while playing in the room where the female relative would be staying, the documents say. The friend's mother notified a day care provider, who then tipped off police on Oct. 11.
According to court records, Herrera last week admitted to police that he had set up the camera so he could watch the relative "while she was undressing" and had connected the camera to the VCR in his bedroom.
The father of four children had been assigned to the warrants section as an adult prisoner transport officer. He has been placed on paid administrative leave, said Anchorage Police Chief Walt Monegan.
Herrera tried to shield his face with his arrest warrant in the Anchorage Jail courtroom during his arraignment.
He did not make a plea and his attorney, Lance Wells, said he had no comment. He was scheduled for a preindictment hearing Thursday.
Herrera is the second Anchorage police officer in the last four months to face child pornography charges.
In June, 11-year police veteran Sammy L. Cohen, 51, was charged with 21 counts in connection with sexually abusing an underage girl and stashing child pornography on his home computer.
The girl told investigators she was sexually molested and photographed in Eagle River when she was between 12 and 14 years old.