Craig Cassidy, The Union Democrat

A Madera man convicted in Tuolumne County a decade ago of child molestation was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in Fresno on child pornography and exploitation charges.

Frank Charles Reddell, 38, faces three charges in connection with his December arrest in a Madera cafe parking lot.

Reddell, on parole and wearing an ankle monitoring-bracelet, was observed by his parole agent sitting in his car looking at child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office and Madera County Sheriff's Office.

The arrest sparked a three-month investigation by Madera police and sheriff's detectives, a state parole agent, and a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

A search of Reddell's computer and a USB flash drive found numerous files containing child pornography. The Madera County Sheriff's Office said "thousands" of pictures were found.

Data embedded in a cell-phone photograph led investigators to a pair of houses in Madera, where Reddell had worked as a handyman, according to the U.S. Attorney and Sheriff.

The indictment alleges he'd exploited a pair of minors at the homes, in May and November of last year, with the purpose of producing pornography.

The indictment also charges him with uploading and downloading child pornography on the Internet between February 2011 and December 2012.

"This case is deeply disturbing in light of the defendant's ability to market himself as a 'handyman' and gain access to homes where children reside," said Mike Prado, agent-in-charge at the Fresno office of Homeland Security Investigations, a branch of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Reddell could face between 65 and 140 years in prison, if convicted of all three counts, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

According to the indictment, and the state Megan's Law website, Reddell was convicted in Tuolumne County in 2004 of "lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor."

He was released from prison in 2009.

In addition to moonlighting as a handyman, Reddell, considered a "high-risk sex offender," worked as a heavy-equipment operator for Caltrans in Fresno, according to a statement from the Madera County Sheriff's Office.