ODESSA, Texas — A West Texas school bus driver remains in federal custody following his June 19 arrest for possessing child pornography.
This arrest resulted from a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Reid Derrick Witcher, 45, was arrested after authorities executed a state search warrant at his Odessa home. According to the filed federal criminal complaint, Witcher said he has been downloading and viewing child pornography for about 10 years, and he possessed about 100,000 images of child pornography contained in electronic media. Agents found a binder inside Witcher’s house that contained about 125 photos of child pornography.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 19,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2018, more than 3,000 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 850 victims were identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST. For additional information, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.
Odessa Police Department assisted with executing the arrest warrant on Witcher.
A criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.