Former Sacramento deputy, fired and rehired in 2004, charged with possession of child porn

·3 min read

A former deputy, who in 2004 regained his job with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office following a conviction of misdemeanor trespassing, was indicted this week by a federal grand jury on charges related to possession of child pornography.

Timothy James Durel, 57, was charged Thursday in federal court for the Eastern District of California with one count each of receipt and possession of child pornography, court documents show.

The criminal complaint filed by U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert alleges that Durel received or possessed sexually explicit images of a minor for nearly a decade, spanning from about June 2012 through March 2021.

Durel worked during those years as a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy or on-call deputy, public records and state salary records show, and resided in Placer County.

Durel is accused of storing the explicit images using a Yahoo email account and electronic devices. Prosecutors sought to have him forfeit his cellphone, laptop and portable hard drives, court papers say.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security in March 2021 raided a home on Knowlton Court in Roseville. A Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson at the time confirmed the subject of the raid was a former on-call deputy and said that the agency had released him, though the exact timing of his dismissal was not specified.

Authorities did not name the deputy at the time, but public records show an address for Durel on Knowlton Court. State records show Durel worked as an on-call deputy for the Sheriff’s Office from 2016 through part of 2021, and as a full-time deputy from at least 2012 through 2015.

The indictment against Durel accuses him of possession of child pornography from June 2012 through February 2021, and with receipt of child pornography from July 2013 “continuing through on or about March 2, 2021.” Federal authorities raided the Knowlton Court home on March 3, 2021.

If convicted on the child pornography charges, Durel faces up to 20 years in prison.

Deputy convicted in 2003, then ordered rehired by Sheriff’s Office

Durel in August 2003 was convicted in Sacramento Superior Court of misdemeanor trespassing after a jury found that he trespassed while on duty into the Carmichael home of a woman he was interested in romantically, The Sacramento Bee reported at the time.

He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, in a case Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne W.L. Chang called “very disturbing” and a breach of “public trust.”

Durel, at that point a 14-year veteran of the department, was initially dismissed by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office in the wake of the conviction.

But in late 2004, Sacramento County’s five-member Civil Service Commission ordered the Sheriff’s Office to rehire Durel.

The commission at the time said it was prohibited from publicly commenting on personnel actions, and it provided no rationale for its highly controversial decision.

A spokesperson for the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association said Durel was reinstated because the Sheriff’s Office had already suspended Durel for the trespassing incident before attempting to fire him, The Bee reported at the time.

The Bee’s Rosalio Ahumada contributed to this story.