Army vet, double amputee kills himself in front of detectives investigating child porn

Fradera competes in a hand-crank wheelchair in the Achilles International Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans program, which brings running programs and marathon opportunities to disabled veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In both 2010 and 2011, Fradera was the first wheel chair participant to cross the finish line of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon (the hand-crank chair is not yet officially recognized for the wheelchair division).

An Army veteran and double amputee is dead after he fatally shot himself when he realized deputies were planning to serve a child pornography search warrant at his Poinciana, Fla., home.

ClickOrlando.com reports deputies made contact with Michael Fradera, 39, outside the home. He saw detectives, grabbed his hidden handgun and shot himself, the Sheriff’s Office said. He died at the scene and no one else was injured.

It appears Fradera, who has been recognized many times by the media for being a war hero, is no stranger to child porn stings or charges.  In 2009, Fradera was rolled up in “Operation Child Shield” and charged with 40 counts of Obscene Material Possession.

Michael Fradera during his 2009 arrest.
Michael Fradera during his 2009 arrest.

Outspoken Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says Operation Child Shield’s victims are what astounded law enforcement officials telling the media the victims ranged in age from four to seven years of age, and that none of the victims appeared to be more than 12 years old.

“These images are not just images of children without clothes,” Judd told The Ledger in 2009. “These images are horrific displays of children being forced to expose their genitals, forced to perform sexual acts — images of children being raped.”

During the 2009 operation, The Ledger reports sheriff’s office computer crimes detectives seized videos and still photos, including a tutorial on how to have sex with children from birth to 12 years old, Judd said. The videos ranged in length from a few seconds to 10 minutes.

ABC News reports Fradera, married at the time of his death, was the victim of an IED explosion that totally destroyed the vehicle he was traveling in outside of Baghdad in August 2007.

Fradera told ABC in 2008 his injuries left him feeling depressed.

“I went through a period of depression and hopelessness after I was released from hospital,” Fradera explained. “I had to stay in a wheelchair, and felt that I couldn’t do anything for myself. I was really, really mad.”

YouTube video

According to the Patriot Guard website, Fradera, who served as a Marine and a soldier, received an Honorable Discharge upon completion of his service. During his service, he was awarded an Army Commendation Medal (2nd award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd award), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Good Conduct Medal (2nd award), Marine Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal w/ Campaign Star, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (2nd award), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, (2nd award), Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge – Mechanic, Parachutist Badge and a Purple Heart.

ClickOrlando.com reports details on the parameters of the search warrant were not released and the investigation is ongoing.

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Author

  • Jim Verchio is a staff writer for Popular Military. As a retired Air Force Public Affairs craftsman, Jim has served at all levels. From staff writer to Editor-In-Chief, he has more than 30 years experience covering military topics in print and broadcast from the CONUS to Afghanistan. He is also a two time recipient of the DoD’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for journalism excellence.

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