Del. Child Porn Network Disrupted, 3 Men Arrested - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Child Porn Network Disrupted, 3 Men Arrested

Updated:
Rogelio A. Cordero Rogelio A. Cordero
David M. Pennington David M. Pennington
William D. Zimmerman William D. Zimmerman

WILMINGTON, Del.– Authorities say a Delaware Child Predator Task Force investigation has led to the arrests of three men who appear to have participated in a child pornography distribution network.

According to the Delaware Attorney General's Office, the investigation was initiated by the Child Predator Task Force after receiving a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children of the distribution of child pornography in Delaware. 

The investigation led to the execution of a search warrant by detectives from the Child Predator Task Force and New Castle County Police at a home on Mark Drive in New Castle on Dec. 21, 2012. Authorities said that during the search, multiple computers, two digital thumb drive storage devices, and other evidence were seized and a person of interest was developed. 

Investigators said a forensic preview of the evidence discovered multiple images of child erotica and child pornography, including an image depicting two nude girls approximately 10-12 years of age in a bath tub and a video of a underage female changing clothes in a bedroom. Based on the evidence they reportedly uncovered, detectives arrested 55-year-old Rogelio A. Cordero, an occupant of the Mark Drive address, and charged him with 25 counts of dealing in child pornography. He was ordered held in the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $375,000 secured bail. 

Officials said the interview with Cordero and a subsequent search of his home led detectives to a second Delaware resident who officials suspected of trading child pornography with Cordero. 

A search warrant was subsequently executed at the home of 70-year-old David M. Pennington, located on Substation Way in Georgetown. Detectives said that during the search they removed multiple DVDs and other documents and questioned Pennington, a registered sex offender who is currently on probation for a 1994 conviction of unlawful sexual intercourse, before releasing him pending further investigation. That ongoing investigation resulted in the execution of a search warrant of a storage facility unit on Georgetown-Lewes Highway in Georgetown on Jan. 8, 2013.  As a result of this search and evidence detectives reportedly gathered during the investigation, Pennington was taken into custody and charged with violating his probation. Pennington was ordered held in the Sussex Correctional Institution in lieu of $50,000 cash bail. 

The investigation into the activities of Cordero and Pennington led detectives to a third person of interest whom they suspected of exchanging illicit images with Pennington. On Jan. 8, 2013, detectives executed a search warrant at the home of 63-year-old William D. Zimmerman, a registered sex offender who lives on the 300 block of North King Street in Georgetown. 

Detectives said that during the search of Zimmerman's home, they seized multiple computers, digital recording devices and a large amount of other digital media and a forensic preview revealed multiple images of child pornography, including a video depicting a pre-pubescent boy engaged in a sex act with an adult male. Based on the investigation, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with 25 counts of dealing in child pornography. He was arraigned and ordered held in the Sussex Correctional Institution in lieu of $500,000 secured bail.

All three defendants remain jailed at this time. The investigation is active and ongoing and investigators said additional charges are possible. Detectives said that more specifically, they continue to investigate the circumstances of a trip that Zimmerman had taken out of the country with a 14-year-old child whom he had befriended.

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