A nurse in West Richland, Washington has been suspended from his job pending the outcome of charges for having over 1,400 images of child pornography.
Darren Lee Ruddell was an employee of Kadlec Medical Center. According to court documents Ruddell has been charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and six counts of first-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
His bail was $150,000, but he has bailed out.
West Richland resident, Tami McCain said "I am so shocked it turns my stomach. I had no idea there was someone this close to us that was being charged with these crimes; I had no idea,"
She also added "I have no idea how to proceed from here with my kids. What do I do? Can they play outside, can they be in the neighborhood? Does he know we have kids? Who knows? I don't know, you know, it's just a very scary thing for us,"
According to court documents the Internet Crimes against Children Task force reported to Benton County Sheriff's Department that countless images of child porn had been downloaded from a Verizon account that belonged to Ruddell.
An expert from the court said, "One image, for example, was one of a pre-pubescent female who appeared to be between six and ten years of age who was nude and sitting on a chair..."
The Sheriff's department in Benton County obtained a search warrant on Ruddell's home and found syringes fully loaded with "date rape" drugs.
There were five images on Ruddell's electronic devices of children that Ruddell knew.
Ruddell is due in court on June 6th for his trial.