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Grand jury indicts former KNBC producer on child porn charges

Phil Drechsler was arrested in Ohio last month after a police raid on his Southern California home.

Phil Drechsler was arrested in Ohio last month after a police raid on his Southern California home.

Former KNBC-TV producer Phil Drechsler appears in an undated handout mugshot. (Graphic by The Desk)
Former KNBC-TV producer Phil Drechsler appears in an undated handout mugshot. (Graphic by The Desk)

A former Los Angeles news producer has been indicted by a federal grand jury on three criminal charges related to child pornography.

The indictment was filed Thursday in the Central District of California against Phil Drechsler, 60, who worked as an investigative producer for Comcast-owned KNBC (Channel 4) in Los Angeles until he was laid off earlier this year.

Drechsler was arrested last month after police raided his Southern California home in connection with a broad child pornography investigation. At the time, the former KNBC producer was suspected of sending and receiving images showing child sex abuse through an online app between August 2020 and June 2021.

Drechsler worked for KNBC during the period of time when federal investigators allege he received more than 100 videos and images of child sex abuse, though it does not appear his employer was aware of the purported activities. He reportedly used a smartphone and an online chat service to connect with others who had similar criminal interests, according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent in federal court last month.

After the raid on his home, Drechsler reportedly left California for Ohio. His wife told police Drechsler was traveling with several firearms and had plans to say goodbye to his daughter before ending his life.

Police conducted surveillance outside a hotel where Drechsler was staying during his road trip, and took him into custody late last month. He was extradited to Southern California to face charges connected to the criminal case.

On Thursday, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment accuing Drechsler of various child pornography-related charges. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of five years in federal prison, but could earn up to 20 years for each count, depending on his criminal history and other factors.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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