May 29, 2024
Annapolis, US 61 F

Youth soccer referee from Millersville charged with child pornography

Cedric WardellOn September 26, 2018, the Anne Arundel County Police Child Abuse Unit began an investigation in reference to a report of an email address that was directly associated with uploading child pornographic images to a particular internet site. The information was provided by the “National Center for Missing and Exploited Children” (NCMEC) which is a non-profit organization whose mission is to find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent child victimization.

On January 30, 2019, Detectives executed a search and seizure warrant at an address in 600 block of Wheat Mill Court in Millersville, Maryland. The suspect, identified as Cedric Caleb Wardell, a twenty one year old male from Millersville, was on scene and interviewed. Numerous electronic items were seized and later examined by the Anne Arundel County Digital Forensics Unit.

During the interview, the suspect disclosed he was certified by the United States Soccer Foundation (USSF) which is an accreditation program for youth and adult soccer referees. Detectives contacted the local, regional and state administrators who supervise the soccer referee program in Maryland. All administrators were advised of the on-going criminal investigation in reference to the suspect in this case. The suspect’s privilege to referee in Maryland was suspended pending the investigation.

The forensic download of the suspect’s electronic devices revealed the possession of multiple child pornographic images.  Child Abuse detectives obtained an arrest warrant where Cedric Wardell was charged with ten counts of distribution and ten counts of possession of child pornography. Caleb Wardell was taken into custody without incident.

The Anne Arundel County Police is urging anyone with information on this incident or the suspect to contact the Anne Arundel County Child Abuse Unit at 410-222-4733. One can also remain anonymous by calling the Anne Arundel County Tip Line 410-222-4700 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-7LOCKUP.

Arrested:

Cedric Caleb Wardell | 21 | 600 block of Wheat Mill Court | Millersville, MD 21108

Charges:

POSSESS CHILD PORNOGRAPHY (10 cts)
CHILD PORN PROMOTE/DISTRB (10 cts)

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