Two men, including a pastor, indicted for child pornography in Texas

Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.

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In a statement released by the United States Department of Justice, Eastern District of Texas, the indictment of two men was announced by U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox on Tuesday September 1.

 

Investigators began looking into the matter after two electronic surveillance providers and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children relayed tips to local law enforcement. On August 6 a search warrant was executed by members of Homeland Security Investigations at the residence of 18-year-old David Pettigrew of Denison, Texas.

 

Until recently, Pettigrew was the head pastor at the Denison Church of the Nazarene, where an additional search was conducted.  After the search was completed, Pettigrew was arrested.

 

On August 21, investigators served a search warrant at the Anna residence of 46-year-old Chad Michael Rider. Rider was also arrested after the search.

 

According to the statement, "the investigation has revealed that a number of children were surreptitiously photographed in private locations or outside of the presence of their parents."

 

Investigators are asking that anyone with information about the cast or that has possibly been a victim of either Pettigrew or Rider to please contact Homeland Security Investigations at HSIDallasVictimInfo@ice.dhs.gov.  They are asking for as much detail as possible within the correspondence as well as for contact information.

 

Pettigrew has been charged with production of child pornography and transportation of child pornography.

 

Rider was charged with production of child pornography.

 

Both men have entered pleas of not guilty to the charges against them.

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