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Long Beach cabbie arrested on child porn charges

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A local taxi driver was arrested on child pornography charges Monday after police said they uncovered thousands of images and videos on the suspect’s cell phone.

Long Beach police arrested 38-year-old Thomas J. Stanford and charged him with five counts of possession of sexual performance of a child under age 16.

Police released few details about the suspect, only to say that the images were uncovered as part of an ongoing investigation of Stanford, a Long Beach resident, on an unrelated matter which was not disclosed.

Police said that during that separate investigation, Long Beach detectives obtained a warrant to search Stanford’s phone.

The Police Department’s Technical Assistance Response Unit recovered thousands of pornographic images and videos from the suspect’s phone, many of which appear to depict children under age 16, police said in a news release.

A police spokesman said Stanford worked as a taxi driver in Long Beach for Beech Street Taxi since 2016 and that his hack license was immediately revoked. Police said that he had no recent prior arrests. Some residents were shocked by the news, saying that Stanford — a Long Beach High School graduate who played in local bar bands — was well liked by many in the community.

"I was very shocked to hear about what happened, and I hope that it turns out that it was not the case," said one resident who declined to be identified.

Stanford was arraigned at Long Beach City Court on Tuesday before Judge William Miller. Bail was set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond. A defense attorney was not yet listed. Stanford is scheduled to appear in Nassau County Court on June 19.