Two Texas men, including the former head pastor at a local church, were indicted on child pornography-related charges connected with crimes that date back as far as 2016, court papers show.
A federal grand jury indicted 48-year-old David Pettigrew – who, until recently, was the head pastor at Denison Church of the Nazarene in Denison –and Chad Michael Rider, 46, on charges of conspiring to sexually exploit children, which is also known as production of child pornography, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a Tuesday press release. Pettigrew was also charged with transporting child pornography.
Federal investigators with Homeland Security Investigations were first flagged to Pettigrew’s alleged crimes by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and “two electronic surveillance providers,” the Justice Department said.
“The investigation has revealed that a number of children were surreptitiously photographed in private locations or outside of the presence of their parents,” the release states.
Investigators arrested Pettigrew after searching his home and the Denison Church of the Nazarene on Aug. 6. He was later handed over to the U.S. Marshal Service. Investigators later searched Rider’s home on Aug. 21.