Child pornography bust

FRESNO, Calif. Upon hearing the news of Pitre's arrest a criminology expert we spoke to says these cases are more common than some might think.

In fact, the expert says the arrest only exposes an underground multi-million dollar business.

A four month long investigation led to the arrest of Derek Pitre earlier this week in Clovis.

The 57 year old is in the Fresno County Jail facing 21 counts of Internet child pornography possession and distribution.

An initial investigation in January found 130,000 images and 4,000 videos inside the hard drives of Pitre's home computers.

Many of the images featured girls as young as three years old. But what troubled investigators is what they would find on Monday.

"To find his storage unit filled with these images was shocking. I was expecting to find more images but not that volume and not in that form," Clovis Police Detective Dustin Dodd said.

Clovis police won't say if Pitre intended to sell any of the 50,000 photos found while serving the search warrant.

But Fresno Criminologist Doctor Eric Hickey says there's a good chance Pitre sold the photos for money. He says unfortunately there's a huge market for them.

"It's like baseball cards for example. Kids love collecting them. There are pedophiles all over the world who are just as excited about collecting these children's photograph," Dr. Eric Hickey said.

Detectives say he was unemployed at the time of the arrest. They also add Pitre was a speech therapist for children with disorders.

While not facing any sexual abuse charges, Dr. Hickey says it's possible to not be involved with young children and make money off them.

"The internet has tens of thousands of pedophiles who prey upon children. Some do it physically themselves because they want to have sex with the children. Others do it as a business to make money for themselves," Hickey said.

Derek Pitre's bail is set at $500,000 and federal charges are pending which would add more jail time if he's convicted.

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