Berkeley Police Department. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Update, May 24: Storea Hassas was charged Tuesday with possession of child pornography. His bail went up to $130,000 because he is a felon with a strike. He has prior convictions dating back to March 2006 for burglary and vehicle theft, both felonies, and was sent to prison, according to Alameda County district attorney’s office records online. Hassas is scheduled to enter a plea May 31 at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.

Original story, May 22: A 41-year-old Berkeley man is in custody after an investigation turned up more than 1,000 images and videos depicting child pornography in his possession, authorities report.

Police arrested Storea Hassas without incident at his Berkeley home Friday night, authorities said, following the earlier seizure of his computers and a hard drive. Hassas told police he had been downloading child pornography for 10 years, according to court papers.

The case initially came to BPD’s attention following a tip from the Virginia-based National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that Hassas possibly had downloaded child pornography. That led to the search warrant and equipment seizure in the fall to determine whether he actually did.

Lt. Joe Okies of the Berkeley Police Department said the arrest Friday represented “some really good investigation and follow-up,” the cooperation of the detective and patrol divisions at BPD, and help from the FBI to recover the illegal images and videos.

Okies described child pornography cases as “relatively rare” in his experience.

According to Alameda County sheriff’s office records online, Hassas was arrested on suspicion of possession of child pornography, as well as a more specific violation related to pornography showing “sexual sadism or sexual masochism involving a person under 18.”

Hassas remains in custody at Berkeley Jail on $30,000 bail and is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday morning at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, according to records online.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...