Former ECISD bus driver in custody

Ector County ISD has been notified Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent out a press release about the arrest of a now-former ECISD bus driver.

Reid Derrick Witcher, 45, was arrested after authorities executed a state search warrant at his Odessa home, an ICE news release said.

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.

His June 19 arrest was the result of a joint investigation by ICE, Homeland Security Investigations and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators, the ICE release said.

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, the release said.

Odessa Police Department assisted with executing the arrest warrant on Witcher, the ICE release said.

An ECISD news release said the ECISD Police Department helped in his arrest and the district will continue to help the investigation in any way it can. At this time, the district has not been given any indication that any ECISD students were involved.

If anyone has information they feel might be relevant to the authorities investigating this case, they are encouraged to call 1-866-347-2423.

“We want to assure our community we take great care to screen potential employees before they are hired. All employees must be fingerprinted for a criminal history check that searches state and national databases. In this case, the man involved worked for the school district twice — as a substitute teacher during part of 2006 and 2007 and again as an activity bus driver for field trips and extra-curricular trips beginning in 2013. Both times he was hired, the district completed all of the required background checks. We received no complaints of this nature about him at any time,” the release said.