Casper Man Accused of Child Pornography, Drug Possession
A man arrested at the conclusion of a four-month child pornography investigation denied the three charges brought against him Wednesday morning in Natrona County District Court.
Chadrick Allen Cogdill, 24, pleaded not guilty to two felony charges of possession of child pornography and one misdemeanor count of marijuana possession. He could face up to 21 years in prison and $21,000 in fines if convicted on all three counts.
Charging papers say on Sept. 5, a special agent with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was conducting an online investigation on the BitTorrent network for people sharing child pornography.
After discovering a torrent file which included at least one file "of investigative interest to child pornography investigations," the agent focused on a device located at a specific IP address which was associated with the torrent file.
The agent then downloaded 61 files made available from the IP address. The agent viewed the files and saw they depicted child pornography.
About a week later, Cogdill was identified as the account holder for the IP address in question. Agents used a social media page of Cogdill's to determine he was living in Casper.
Data provided pursuant to a search warrant by Verizon Wireless and Synchronoss allegedly revealed about 150 images of an "obviously prepubescent female in various stages of undress with some of the images focusing on the female's genitalia," court documents say.
A special agent also saw photographs of marijuana. A Casper Police Department report showed Cogdill was the suspect of a drugs call in Casper where a marijuana bong was recovered, according to charging documents.
Agents learned in November that Cogdill was in the process of leaving his Casper apartment. He did not leave a forwarding address, and data from Charter Communications revealed Cogdill had disconnected internet service to his apartment.
On Dec. 9, Cogdill posted on social media, "FINALLY got my phone turned back on. Have most of the numbers..." He allegedly posted his phone number, which investigators found matched the number of the phone which reportedly uploaded the child pornography.
Days later, a task force detective saw Cogdill drive to his new residence on Lakota Trail in Bar Nunn. The detective and a special agent watched Cogdill's home some time later and followed him to his place of employment.
Court documents say on Dec. 22, DCI agents, along with Casper police officers and Natrona County Sheriff's deputies, executed a search warrant for Cogdill's residence and person.
The search turned up a phone, a desktop computer and a laptop computer, as well as "numerous items of marijuana paraphernalia" throughout the residence.
In an interview with special agents, Cogdill said he had seen child pornography on internet forums, but denied intentionally downloading or sharing any images.
He said a previous computer had crashed and he had been unable to repair it, ultimately throwing it into a dumpster outside his apartment in October.
Cogdill allegedly admitted to using peer-to-peer file sharing software such as TOR and Pirate Bay for pirated games, adding that he used uTorrent to download files and convert them into torrent files. He said he had not used any torrent software on his new computer, which he obtained in October.
When a special agent told Cogdill several files of child pornography were downloaded from his computer when he was living at his Casper apartment, Cogdill said he shared a computer with three other people who were living at the apartment.
The agent asked who Cogdill thought was downloading child pornography, to which Cogdill responded, "I would imagine nobody." When the agent reiterated the reason for the interview, Cogdill reportedly said, "I was just dumb, I was in a low point."
He allegedly went on to say he stopped immediately, and the computer he used for child pornography was gone.
Cogdill reportedly told investigators he found child pornography online by using search terms consistent with images of child exploitation, according to court documents. He said he used his cell phone to search uTorrent.
"It was only this six- to seven-month stint but then I stopped," Cogdill allegedly said. He reportedly explained that he started looking for child pornography when he found out his girlfriend was pregnant.
After his son was born, he said, he realized the potential consequences and stopped.
He later provided the names of websites where he saw or found links to child pornography files. Cogdill also allegedly said his "age of interest" was 15 to 16 years old, but the youngest victims he had seen depicted were five or six years old.
The youngest children Cogdill remembered searching for were roughly 12-14 years old.
He remains free on $3,000 bond pending trial.