Visalia fire engineer arrested for child pornography content

Officers arrest engineer with Visalia Fire Department after cyber tip indicates he allegedly exchanged, possessed child pornography

VISALIA – An employee with the Visalia Fire Department has been arrested on charges of possessing child pornography, according to recent police reports.

On May 8, at approximately 3 p.m., detectives from the Youth Services Unit served an arrest warrant for Ignacio Ruiz, an engineer with the Visalia Fire Department. 

According to reports from the Visalia Police Department, Ruiz’s arrest was a result of a cyber tip that was obtained from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Investigation into the case revealed that Ruiz had exchanged and possessed child pornography. Several search warrants were served before his arrest, which led to his identification.

Upon taking Ruiz into custody, a search warrant was conducted at his residence with the assistance of the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce and Homeland Security.

As of report, there is no evidence of any crimes occurring while Ruiz was performing his duties with the Visalia Fire Department. However, the investigation is ongoing and digital forensic evidence will be further examined as it progresses.

In a statement from the Visalia Fire Department, Fire Chief Dan Griswold said the fire department has been fully cooperative with the Visalia Police Department and will continue to be as things move forward. According to Griswold, an administrative investigation into this matter has been opened and Ruiz was immediately placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation.

“Public trust and confidence in the Visalia Fire Department is essential and this matter will be investigated as expediently as possible,” Griswold said. “The Visalia Fire Department is asking for a complete and thorough investigation to determine the facts of this case.”

Following Ruiz’s arrest, he was booked at the Tulare County pretrial facility for charges of child pornography.

Due to the personnel nature of this matter, Griswold explained in his statement that the fire department is not legally allowed to discuss the matter, and encouraged anyone with questions regarding the investigation to please contact the Visalia Police Department.

“This isolated incident is not a reflection of who we are as an agency and does not reflect the values of the Visalia Fire Department or its members,” Griswold said.

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