New Castle man sentenced to 20 years in child porn case

WILMINGTON — Rogelio “Roger” Cordero, 58, of New Castle, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson to more than 20 years in federal prison for receipt of child pornography.

Cordero also was sentenced to a life term of supervised release following his prison sentence of 262 months. He will be required to continue to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction in which he lives, works or attends school.

Cordero previously was 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 five years of probation following his release. He also was ordered to undergo approximately seven years of sex offender treatment. He was released from custody in December 2006, and committed the offenses at issue in the current case while on state probation.

According to statements made and documents filed in court, Cordero came to the attention of the Delaware Child Predator 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. The cybertip reported that an AOL user, subsequently identified as Cordero, had transmitted numerous emails containing child pornography using AOL’s email service.

On Dec. 20, 2012, task force officers executed a search warrant at Cordero’s New Castle residence, where they found computers, smartphones and other digital devices 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.

Task force officers also found a small, concealable “pen” camera that Cordero had used to record explicit footage of a minor child changing clothes.

Later that same day, 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.

On Jan. 8, 2013, task force officers executed a state search warrant at Zimmerman’s Georgetown residence where 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 sentenced for child exploitation crimes. On Oct. 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 U.S. District Judge Gregory M. Sleet after pleading guilty to receipt of child pornography.

Following the sentencing hearing, U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly III said, “Cases like this are all too prevalent today. Mr. Cordero’s sentence should prevent him from ever exploiting another child. To those who are following in Cordero’s path, law enforcement is closing in on you, and when caught you should expect to be successfully prosecuted and sentenced to lengthy prison terms.”

This case, as well as those of Pennington and Zimmerman, was investigated by the Delaware State Police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. All three cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward J. McAndrew.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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