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Paul Nelson terminated from Port Neches fire Department after numerous devices seized from home in child porn investigation

The city manager told 12News that Assistant Fire Chief Mike Stegall will be taking the place of former Chief Paul Nelson.

PORT NECHES, Texas — The Port Neches city manager confirmed Thursday that the city's Fire Chief, Paul Nelson, has been let go from the fire department following his arrest on Wednesday for child pornography charges.

Nelson, 54, was arrested on two charges of promotion of child pornography according to Jefferson County jail records and Port Neches Police Chief Paul LeMoine.

The Texas Attorney General’s Child Exploitation Unit and police officers executed a search warrant and arrest warrant around 9 a.m. Wednesday. 

Kayleigh Date, a spokesperson for the Texas Attorney General's office said the investigation started with a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Nelson is accused of sending illegal images over social media accounts. 

Date said the search warrant was carried out at his house. He was arrested without incident. 

Investigators seized numerous devices and they have been turned over to the digital forensics team for review.

RELATED: Port Neches Police chief speaks out after city's fire chief arrested on child pornography charges

Nelson was held on a bond of $25,000 for each charge, $50,000 in total. Jail records show he was released Thursday morning.

Nelson has been in charge of the fire department since December 2015, according to his profile on LinkedIn. The city manager told 12News that Assistant Chief Mike Stegall will be taking the place of former Chief Nelson.

Nelson was raised in Wisconsin according to his bio on the fire department website.

This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

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From a Port Neches Police Department news release: 

On 01/13/2021 at about 9:00am the Port Neches Police department assisted the Texas Attorney General’s Child Exploitation Unit with the execution of a search warrant and arrest warrants. Port Neches FIRE Department Chief Paul Nelson was arrested and charged with two counts of Promotion of Child Pornography (2nd degree felony) and was later transported to the Jefferson County Jail. The investigation is being conducted by the Texas Attorney General’s office Child Exploitation unit and Port Neches Police department is assisting. 

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