On January 19, 2017, Butte County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) Detective Miller was contacted by the Sacramento High Tech Task Force for Crimes Against Children, which he is a member of, regarding information they had received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC representatives had recently received information that a subject had been downloading and sharing child pornography in the Butte County area.

Detective Miller initiated an investigation and identified Ricky Leach, age 57, to be a person of interest in the case. During the investigation, Detective Miller learned that Ricky Leach was also a Sex Registrant. Detective Miller received an additional NCMEC hit from New Mexico regarding Ricky Leach being a suspect for downloading and distributing child pornography in New Mexico.

Detective Miller authored a search warrant for a residence in Gridley California, where Leach was believed to be residing. Upon execution of the search warrant, several computers and cell phones were taken and examined. Detective Miller analyzed the computers and cell phones and located in excess of 60,000 images of child pornography. Ricky Leach was subsequently interviewed and arrested on January 28th, 2017, for possession and distribution of Child Pornography.

Upon further investigation Detective Miller located additional images of Ricky Leach sexually assaulting a minor. Detective Miller was able to locate the minor, and confirm that the victim was sexually assaulted by Ricky Leach in New Mexico. Authorities in New Mexico have been advised of this information and are conducting their investigation.

Recently the case went to trial in Butte County. Based on his criminal history, this was a third strike offense and Ricky Leach was found guilty for possession and distribution of child pornography in California, he has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

BCSO would like to thank the Butte County District Attorney’s Office for their vigorous prosecution of this case and especially to Deputy District Attorney J. Bennett for her efforts and success in prosecuting a dangerous child predator from our community.