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LH man jailed for child porn

Search reveals marijuana growing operation

LANA MUTHLER / THE EXPRESS The front porch of David Nestlerode’s home was nearly filled with marijuana plants taken from inside his home,

LOCK HAVEN — A Lock Haven man has been charged with sexual abuse of children (possession of child pornography) by the Office of Attorney General Child Predator Section after they executed a search warrant at his home yesterday.

David Lee Nestlerode, 52, of 222 E. Water St., was arraigned before District Judge John Maggs and taken to the Clinton County Correctional Facility.

Lock Haven City Police and Homeland Securities Investigation aided the AG’s office in executing the search warrant at about 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

As officers entered Nestlerode’s home, they also discovered the apartment was filled with marijuana plants and paraphernalia in plain view. Lock Haven Police Department is handling that investigation.

Lock Haven City Police Lt. Elizabeth Gregory said Nestlerode will be charged by city police with manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. He is expected to be arraigned on those charges today or Friday.

LANA MUTHLER / THE EXPRESS Patrolman Heath Bumbarger carries a box of marijuana plants that were drying on coat hangars within the home of David Nestlerode.

As Nestlerode was led from his home by AG officials, he was told that a search warrant was obtained relating to illegal internet activity, specifically child pornography.

According to the police criminal complaint:

“Nestlerode uttered, ‘Oh, yeah, I have scanned for that (child pornography).’ Nestlerode continued to state that ‘there is stuff (child pornography) there. I was just messing around on the internet.’ Nestlerode continued by stating that he was ashamed and stated, ‘If I wouldn’t be messing around online, this wouldn’t be happening.’ Nestlerode also said, ‘I looked at stuff on the internet and it incriminated me.'”

AG officials said they found at least 41 images and videos of apparent child pornography on Nestlerode’s computer in his home. Furthermore, of those images, at least 14 images depicted indecent contact upon minors, the document stated.

The devices were seized and transported to the Computer Forensics Unit’s secured evidence room for analysis. The marijuana plants and paraphernalia were transferred to the Lock Haven Police Department.

David Nestlerode

Several dozen marijuana plants and other drug growing operation equipment and supplies were carried to the front porch of Nestlerode’s home, which is adjacent to the Clinton County Courthouse where a flag dedication ceremony was underway.

As Taps could be heard in the distance marking the end of the solemn ceremony on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City, those in attendance were alerted to a strange smell filling the air.

Heads quickly turned to the green house beside the courthouse, where officials were moving the marijuana plants from the porch into a waiting van.

“It was everywhere,” said one AG official, who asked not to be identified. “It was growing in every room … bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, even in the closet.”

“We came here this morning with a search warrant looking for child pornography and we found a marijuana grow, too,” he continued.

Nestlerode was a tenant in the building, owned by Stephen Smith and his son, Demian. The elder Smith said he had no idea that Nestlerode was growing marijuana in the residence.

“He paid his rent on time. We had no reason to suspect anything,” Smith said.

Smith said he was glad police made the bust.

“We don’t want anything like that in the building,” Smith said. “It’s weird stuff.”

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