Mario Pradere, PBSO sergeant, subject of criminal investigation

Posted at 4:53 PM, Jun 28, 2013
and last updated 2015-04-20 12:59:38-04

Sergeant Mario Pradere is pictured in a 2009 photo as a member of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Cycling Club. He is now the subject of an internal investigation that could turn criminal.

For nearly two weeks, the career law enforcement officer has been off the job after being accused of possessing naked pictures and videos of minors. 

The material, according to court documents, was found on an SD card discovered in furniture that, documents describe, had been recently removed from Pradere's Wellington home.

A former helicopter repair man for the U.S. Army, Pradere has been employed with PBSO for more than two decades. His career at the agency is painted with accolades and positive performance reviews.

A look into his internal affairs file shows just a few minor complaints, most of which required little to no action.

But it's what is in recently filed court paperwork that is now getting serious attention from his sheriff’s office colleagues. 

This paperwork includes an alleged suicide note which begins: “It seems like a can't get away from what I have done in the past."  The note concludes with one final sentence: "To end this I can only say I am truly sorry for hurting those that loved me and thought highly of me."

Steve Sessa, the attorney who is representing Sgt. Pradere told the Contact 5 Investigators, "Anyone can make allegations.  We plan on fighting these allegations vigorously in court." 

The Contact 5 Investigators spoke with a family member of Pradere's, who declined to speak on the record.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's office is also not commenting on the case since the investigation is open and ongoing.

WPTV NewsChannel 5 is not releasing the name of the person accusing Sgt. Pradere of these allegations out of concern for identifying any potential victims.