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Former Columbia Co. undersheriff charged with possessing child porn

Jun 01, 2022 12:30 am

Natasha Vaughn-Holdridge is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media former Columbia County Undersheriff James Blass was arraigned in court May 31, on child pornography charges. Blass waived his right to indictment. He was arrested in March by state police after the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children notified the state police Internet Crimes Against Children Unit that an image of child pornography was allegedly discovered on one of Blass’ internet accounts. Columbia County Assistant District Attorney Joyce Crawford. Crawford asked Columbia County Judge Richard Koweek to issue an order of protection barring Blass from contact with any children under the age of 18. If convicted, Blass faces 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. Police began investigating Blass last fall and the probe involved the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, state police Computer Crimes Unit, state police Internet Crimes Against Children Unit and the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office Investigators determined that Blass was in possession of child pornography and he was charged with possession of a sexual performance by a child, a class E felony. Blass served with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office for more than 30 years, retiring in 1997. Blass also served as Copake town justice and Copake police chief when the town had a police department. Blass is due back in court on July 15. Read more at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.