La Canada attorney charged in kiddie porn case

From Sandi Gibbons in the District Attorney’s Office:

LOS ANGELES – An attorney investigated as part of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) probe of hardcore child pornography on the Internet pleaded no contest today to one felony count each of possessing child pornography and an assault rifle.

Deputy District Attorney Susan Schwartz of the Justice System Integrity Division said Walter Loustari, who remains free on bail, entered the plea before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Ryan. Sentencing was scheduled for March 3.

Schwartz said the 58-year-old defendant entered an “open” plea, meaning it was not part of a negotiated settlement. His sentence could range anywhere from probation to three years and eight months in state prison.

Loustari, who had a law office in La Canada and lived in Glendale, was charged in October 2009 following an investigation by ICE and the Glendale Police Department.

Authorities said the investigation began in October 2006 as part of ICE’s Operation Predator, in which the agency works closely with local agencies to investigate child pornography throughout the United States.

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Sex offender arrested after kiddie porn uncovered in Covina church

During a 2007 remodeling of the presbyterian Church in Covina, workers uncovered several disturbing images of child pornography,

A subsequent FBI investigation led to a registered sex offender who was living at working at an auto repair shop in town.

The sex offender, Richard Welton, 47, is now behind bars in federal custody.

Here’s the FBI docs from the case:

SAFE_-_Welton_arrest_warrant.pdf

SAFE_-_Welton_indictment.pdf

Welton has a long criminal history that includes making obscene phone calls from churches claiming to have abducted a young girl.

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