The Oakdale youth pastor that was arrested for possession of child pornography in February 2014 was sentenced to serve five years in federal prison followed by 15 years of supervised release once he is out of prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento.
Last month Tyler David Bliss, 28, a youth minister at the Bethel Assembly of God on G Street at the time of his arrest, agreed to plead guilty to one count of receiving child pornography after accepting a plea deal with federal prosecutors.
According to federal prosecutors, Bliss downloaded the child porn with computers at his home and his church.
In 2014 Ceres Police detectives of their High Tech Task Force received a tip that Tyler was in possession of child pornography and an investigation was initiated.
On Feb 17, 2014, Bliss had been under surveillance and detectives made a traffic stop on him as he was driving on Yosemite Avenue near Greger Street. Detectives took Bliss into custody and served two search warrants; one at his Oakdale residence where he lived with his parents and the other at the church where his father, David Bliss, was the pastor.
The investigation revealed Bliss downloaded more than 600 images of child pornography with several depicted prepubescent children and at least one image of violent or sadistic conduct.
At first, Bliss was charged on a single child pornography charge. The charge was later dropped by the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office so federal authorities could take on the case against him
A federal grand jury later indicted Bliss. During the process, Bliss faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release.
On March 2 Bliss pleaded guilty to only one count of receiving child pornography.
The investigation and arrest was the result of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims.