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Political threats, then gun charges, now child porn arrest for San Jose community service officer

A San Jose civilian community service officer, arrested in October on suspicion of gun crimes charges, was arrested again this week for possession of child pornography, according to a San Jose police spokesperson late Thursday afternoon.

Denis Shevchenko, 40, of Gilroy, a non-sworn civilian community service officer for the San Jose Police Department, was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose. During the police department’s initial investigation into the gun crimes charges in October, a search warrant was secured for several items belonging to Shevchenko, including electronic devices. While conducting a forensic examination of the electronic devices, investigators discovered images and videos of child pornography.

The investigation into the current and prior charges that Shevchenko is facing is still ongoing, said Ofc. Steve Aponte, a San Jose police spokesperson.

San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata on Thursday said:

“We are continuing our investigation into Denis Shevchenko’s current and prior allegations, ,,, Our detectives have worked diligently in reviewing and sorting out all evidence in this case and in the process have discovered child pornography on some of his electronic devices.”

Mata said he remains:

“… committed to ensuring the highest level of integrity and professionalism from all Department members and will not tolerate this kind of misconduct and behavior.”

In mid-October, Shevchenko was arrested on suspicion of gun crimes after a FBI investigation linked him to social media posts advocating for killing cops and other hate speech on an alt-right website.

Last month, Shevchenko was facing misdemeanor charges for possession of a concealed firearm, possession of an assault weapon and possession of a concealed dirk or dagger; as well as a charge for storing a loaded handgun in his locker at the South San Jose substation of the police department, where he works in the community service officer program.

The gun crimes only came to light after the FBI San Francisco Bay Area division’s Joint Terrorism Task Force informed San Jose police about Shevchenko’s links to potentially threatening comments made on gab.com on May 24. The FBI was able to trace posts back to Shevchenko’s IP address, police said.

At the time, San Jose police did not specify what the posts said except that they were “of political nature involving violence and threats.”

The FBI informed San Jose police Oct. 14 and by that evening, officers arrested Shevchenko while he was on duty at PayPal Park.

During the search warrant for Shevchenko’s residence, detectives found nine firearms, one of which was an illegally modified AR-15-style rifle, according to Mata.

Shevchenko was arraigned last month on the gun crimes charges and was out of custody when he was arrested again this week.

As a community service officer, Shevchenko does not have “police powers” and is not allowed to be armed while on duty. At this time, he has been placed on a paid administrative leave pending results of the investigation by SJPD and the FBI, who are working together on the investigation.

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