Texas Church Pastor Indicted on Child Pornography Charges
Two men in Texas have been indicted on child pornography charges.
According to a press release from the United States Department of Justice, David Pettigrew, 48, of Denison, Texas, and Chad Michael Rider, 46, of Anna, Texas were recently indicted for conspiring to sexually exploit children
Pettigrew is also facing charges for transporting child pornography. He is the former head pastor of the Denison Church of the Nazarene, proving that not everyone is what they seem. The church website formerly stated that Pettigrew began ministering there in 2006, but has since been removed. Pettigrew is the father of 3 young children and his wife, Tracie, is a first grade teacher at Neblett Elementary in Sherman, TX.
Authorities were alerted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and “two electronic surveillance providers" about a user uploading child pornography.
With the help of a federal search warrant, law enforcement was able to search the home of Pettigrew as well as the Denison Church of the Nazarene. Investigators later searched Rider's home, and both men were arrested.
Police found that the men had secretly photographed numerous children in private locations without the knowledge of their parents. Both men have pleaded "not guilty" to all charges.
If convicted, Pettigrew and Rider face a minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in federal prison.
Authorities are asking those with information or who may have been a victim of Pettigrew and Rider, to contact Homeland Security Investigations at HSIDallasVictimInfo@ice.dhs.gov.