Attorney General Beau Biden marked the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month on Tuesday by announcing the recent indictments of two Millsboro men on child pornography charges following an investigation by the Delaware Child Predator Task Force.
Harry K. Roche, 42, and Mark A. Stramacchia, 49, were indicted on March 18 by the Sussex County Grand Jury - Stramacchia on 25 counts of dealing in child pornography, and Roche on 24 counts of dealing in child pornography.
The indictments are the latest in the Task Force's six-year effort to protect kids from sexual abuse at the hands of predators who create, possess, and distribute child pornography and who use the internet and other technology to solicit and exploit child victims, said Jason Miller, a spokesman for the Delaware Department of Justice.
Delaware's Child Predator Task Force works collaboratively with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to identify child victims so that law enforcement can locate and rescue them from exploitive situations. Delaware investigators and law enforcement agencies from across the country submit copies of seized child pornography videos and images to NCMEC, whose analysts review the copies to determine which images contain previously identified child victims. NCMEC reports that over the last decade its Child Victim Identification Program analysts reviewed more than 77 million images and videos.
During the investigation that led to last month's indictments, Delaware Child Predator Task Force detectives obtained several files containing child pornography and identified a person of interest. As a result, a search warrant was executed on Jan. 31 at a residence on the 200 block of Main Street, Millsboro by task force detectives, a detective from the Delaware State Police Sex Offender Apprehension and Registration Unit and Millsboro Police officers, Miller said.
Multiple computers, a cell phone, storage devices, and other digital evidence were seized and Roche, who was in the residence at the time, was taken to DSP Troop No. 4 for further investigation. Based on the evidence, Roche was arrested and charged with 24 counts of dealing in child pornography. He was arraigned via videophone by JP Court No. 2 and was taken to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Institution, where he remains held in lieu of $600,000 secured bail.
Roche is currently listed on the Delaware Sex Offender Registry as a result of a 2004 child pornography conviction, Miller said.
During the January search of Roche's apartment, two external hard drives were seized and later connected to the second occupant of the residence who at that time was not a person of interest in the investigation, Miller said. A forensic examination of those devices revealed multiple images of young boys that were identified as child pornography. Based on this evidence, detectives returned to the apartment on Feb. 12 and made contact with the occupant, Stramacchia, who was taken to DSP Troop No. 4 for further investigation. Based on the evidence, Stramacchia was charged with 25 counts of dealing in child pornography, arraigned via videophone by at JP Court No. 2 and was taken to Sussex Correctional Institution where he remains held in lieu of $250,000 secured bail.