San Diego

Investigators Found Child Pornography During October Search of Popular North County Horse Ranch

The complaint alleges the images showed "sexually explicit conduct" with children under 12 years old, some involving the use of animals.

The owner of a popular North County horse ranch is facing federal child pornography charges.

A federal complaint unsealed before Christmas indicates Christian Clews, 51, was under house arrest pending trial on charges of the possession and distribution of child pornography.

A two-year-long Homeland Security investigation began with images that investigators say were found on the ranch owner's mobile phone.

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Christian Clews was last interviewed by NBC 7 in 2007 when he was in dispute with the Chabad Jewish Center of Del Mar over the use of a farmhouse next to his ranch.

According to the complaint, investigators found numerous child pornography images and video files on multiple electronic devices.

The images showed "sexually explicit conduct" with children under 12 years old, according to the complaint. Some allegedly involved the use of animals.

The complaint indicates Clews admitted to investigators he possessed and distributed child porn after they read him his rights.

Clews Horse Ranch is an established Carmel Valley horse boarding and training facility.

By most accounts the ranch is often swarming with kids.

The complaint does not indicate whether children who visited the ranch could be seen in any of the confiscated images, but those close to the case tell NBC7 San Diego Police are trying to determine the answer to that very question.

Jan Dunning shares a private driveway, Clews Ranch Road, with Clews.

She was stopped at the entrance three days before Halloween while federal agents raided the defendant's home.

"FBI and humvees and everything else were driving down the drive,” Dunning said.

Clews was also an investor representative on the Carmel Valley community planning board. According to the website, his term ended in 2016.

According to pretrial release documents, Clews is out on bond and under house arrest although the young man who answered the door when NBC7 knocked denied Clews was at home.

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