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Youth Minister Arrested In Child Porn Investigation

Youth Minister Arrested In Child Porn Investigation

Tyler Bliss, 27, of Oakdale was arrested for possession of child pornography. Bliss has been the youth minister for the Oakdale Assembly of God Church since 2009. PHOTO FROM OAKDALE ASSEMBLY OF GOD WEBSITE

POSTED February 18, 2014 4:07 p.m.
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An Oakdale youth minister was arrested by the Ceres Police Department in Oakdale on Monday, Feb 17 after a tip that the 27-year-old was in possession of child pornography.

Ceres Police Public Information Officer Carissa Higginbotham said detectives received a tip that Tyler Bliss of Oakdale, the youth minster for Bethel Assembly of God Church on East G Street, was in possession of child pornography and an investigation was initiated.

Higginbotham declined to state how the tip was received or what the context was of the information provided to their investigators.

At 7:30 a.m., after Bliss had been under surveillance, detectives made a traffic stop on him as he was driving on Yosemite Avenue near Greger Street.

Ceres detectives took Bliss into custody and served two search warrants. The first was at Bliss’ residence in the 600 block of Hudson Avenue and the second was at the church in the 100 block of East G Street.

During both searches, computers and other electronic devices were seized by police for forensic examination. Higginbotham said preliminary examination of the devices revealed child pornography depicting children under the age of 13 years old. She declined to elaborate on what the pornography was or if any of the subjects had been identified.

Higginbotham stated that because of Bliss’ access to youth, it was unknown if he was involved in generating any of the pornography.

“Everything is set to be examined by special forensic investigators,” Higginbotham said Monday afternoon. “The investigation and evidence is still pretty fresh since it was just seized.”

According to detectives, the investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.

After Bliss was arrested, he was booked at Stanislaus County Jail on suspicion of possession of child pornography and was initially held with a bail of $10,000. He was later released after posting bail.

According to the Oakdale Bethel Assembly of God website, Bliss served in the church’s youth ministry since 2009. He oversees the organization’s junior high, high school, and college ministries while pursuing his license to preach with the Assemblies of God.

The main pastor for the Oakdale Bethel Assembly of God is Bliss’ father, Dave Bliss who has served in Oakdale since 2007.

Personnel at the Oakdale church declined to comment on the arrest or state if anyone else was present when detectives served the search warrant at the facility.

The Ceres Police High Tech Task Force is comprised of two full-time investigators who are trained in Internet crimes against children investigations and computer forensic examinations.

The unit is partially funded by the city’s Measure H, a half-cent sales tax measure specifically for improving public safety services. The task force works closely with neighboring agencies, as well as state and federal law enforcement organizations, and has been extremely successfully in combating the problem of child exploitation.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact Detective Britton Moore at (209) 538-5627 or

Ceres Police also stated tips can also be anonymously reported to the Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers, phone number: 1-866-60-CRIME or text tips to 274637 with “TIP704” in the wording.


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