Man charged with child porn possession after discovery at landfill

Man charged with child porn possession after discovery at landfill
TACOMA, Wash. -- A Tacoma man is now charged with three counts of possessing child pornography, but prosecutors say their trail of evidence against him began at the Tacoma landfill almost one year ago.

"We have people that part of their job is to observe the people unload and look at the waste," said Gary Kato, a supervisor at the Tacoma landfill.

Kato says a couple of those workers spotted a man dumping child porn on a heap of trash. According to court documents, it included numerous drawings and cartoons depicting sex with children and three photographs -- one showing an adult committing a sexual act on a young, naked boy.

The workers called police with a description of the man's truck and detectives say it led them to a home just three miles away.

Prosecutors say the man who lives there, Ernest Lee Sanchez, admitted he dumped the porn, but that it belonged to his brother-in-law and former roommate.

"Police from that lead were able to connect the defendant to the child pornography," said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Lindquist said their big break in the case came after detectives examined the child porn at the landfill. Tacoma Police say they lifted fingerprints from some of the material and DNA from one of the photographs.

Investigators sent those samples, along with fingerprints and DNA from Sanchez to the state crime lab. And police say the lab concluded all of it "matches that of Ernest Sanchez."

"Without that DNA on the child pornography, it would be difficult to connect the suspect with the child pornography," Lindquist said.

Even though he's been charged, Sanchez has not been arrested yet. He's scheduled to appear in court May 21.