PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Former Denison Church of the Nazarene pastor David Pettigrew, 48, was indicted for child pornography violations.
Another man, Chad Michael Rider, 46, of Anna, was also charged with child exploitation crimes in an indictment returned by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Texas.READ MORE: Arlington ISD Schools On Lockdown After Shots Fired In The Area
Pettigrew was additionally charged with transporting child pornography.
He came to the attention of law enforcement officials through referrals sent by two electronic surveillance providers and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Those referrals identified a computer user who uploaded suspected child pornography onto their online platforms.
The investigation also revealed that a number of children were surreptitiously photographed in private locations or outside of the presence of their parents. Any members of the public with information about this case or possible victims are urged to contact Homeland Security Investigations at HSIDallasVictimInfo@ice.dhs.gov. Members of the community are urged to send a detailed message (including contact information) with information about any possible private interactions with Pettigrew or Rider to the email above.READ MORE: Texas Supreme Court Again Denies City Of Fort Worth's Request To Review Decisions To Fire Former Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald
Pettigrew started working as a pastor at the church in 2006. He has three children.
On August 6, 2020, Homeland Security Investigations agents executed federal search warrants at Pettigrew’s residence and the Denison Church of the Nazarene, after which, agents arrested Pettigrew. Agents executed a search warrant at Rider’s residence on August 21, 2020.
If convicted, Pettigrew and Rider face a minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in federal prison.
Both men have entered “not guilty” pleas to the charges.MORE NEWS: The Ones For Texas: Paisley's Pals