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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Delaware

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Registered Child Sex Offender Pleads Guilty To Receipt Of Child Pornography

WILMINGTON, Del. – Rogelio “Roger” Cordero, age 58, of New Castle, Delaware, pled guilty today to Receipt of Child Pornography, in violation of federal law.  Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced the guilty plea following a hearing in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.

Cordero was previously convicted in Delaware of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse, Unlawful Sexual Penetration and Unlawful Sexual Contact Second Degree in 1992.  Those crimes involved Cordero’s sexual abuse of two female minors over an 18-month period.  He was sentenced to 18 years in Delaware state prison, and 5 years of probation following his release. 

As a result of his prior convictions, Cordero faces enhanced sentencing penalties under federal law, including a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years, and a maximum sentence of forty years, in prison.  Cordero also faces a term of supervised release of five years to life following his prison sentence, and he will be required to register as a sex offender in any U.S. jurisdiction in which he lives, works, or attends school.  Cordero will be sentenced on ­July 27, 2015 by United States District Judge Sue L. Robinson.

According to statements made and documents filed in court, Cordero came to the attention of the Delaware Child Predator Task Force (the “Task Force”) after it began an investigation into two other registered child sex offenders living in Delaware.  That investigation began in October 2012, after the Task Force received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).  The cybertip reported that an AOL user, subsequently identified as Cordero, a registered child sex offender from New Castle, Delaware, had uploaded files containing child pornography through an AOL server. 

On December 20, 2012, Task Force officers executed a state search warrant at Roger Cordero’s New Castle residence, where they found computers containing thousands of images of child pornography featuring mostly prepubescent and adolescent children.  They also found that Cordero had been trading child pornography with David Pennington, another registered child sex offender whom Cordero had met while both were incarcerated in the Smyrna Correctional Institution for child sex offenses.  The men shared the images of child pornography by mailing digital photographs saved to thumb drives back and forth to one another.  They also found a small, concealable “pen” camera that Cordero had used to attempt to record explicit footage of a minor child changing clothes. 

Later on the day of December 20, 2012, Task Force officers executed a state search warrant at Pennington’s Georgetown residence.  Pennington, who was then wearing an electronic monitoring device due to a state probation violation, was present for the search.  During the search, Task Force members recovered evidence relating to the mailing of USB “thumb drives” containing child pornography and handwritten child sexual abuse stories between Pennington and Cordero.  Pennington also informed the officers that he would view child pornography mailed to him by Cordero with another registered sex offender, William Zimmerman, of Georgetown, Delaware.

On January 8, 2013, Task Force officers executed a state search warrant at Zimmerman’s Georgetown residence.  They recovered several pieces of computer equipment found to contain hundreds of images of child pornography.  The images featured children ranging in age from infancy to mid-teen being posed or engaged in sexual acts with adult males. 

Cordero is now the third member of the group to be convicted of child exploitation crimes.  On October 11, 2013, David Pennington was sentenced to 28 years in prison by Delaware Superior Court Judge T. Henley Graves after pleading guilty to Dealing in Child Pornography, in violation of Delaware law.  On April 22, 2014, William Zimmerman was sentenced to the mandatory minimum term of 15 years in federal prison by United States District Judge Gregory M. Sleet after pleading guilty to Receipt of Child Pornography. 

All three cases were brought as part of the United States Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Program, which was launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of online child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue child victims. 

As intended by the United States Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Program, the Delaware Child Predator Task Force, the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the Delaware Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office worked together to investigate and prosecute Cordero, Pennington and Zimmerman.  Based on their outstanding efforts, the investigative and prosecution team recently received the United States Department of Homeland Security’s “Exemplary Partnership Award,” the only award of its kind presented nationally by DHS this year. 

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Updated July 14, 2015