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Cary man arrested in child porn case

Posted October 3, 2009
Updated October 4, 2009

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— A Cary man was arrested on child-porn charges after an eight-month investigation by the Cary Police Department’s cybercrimes unit, established in 2007.

Jeffrey Phelps, 41, of 101 Northwoods Village, faces 13 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Police found 13 videos on Phelps’ home computer showing "nude, very young boys" – ranging in age from 8 to 14 years old – "engaged in sexual activity,” according to arrest warrants.

Investigators said Phelps got the files from a Web site for what police call "peer-to-peer child porn."

“These are where individuals are trading files of child porn back and forth with one another,” police spokesman Capt. Mike Williams explained.

Cary man charged with child porn

Cary's cybercrimes investigators have typically focused on baiting Internet predators, but eight months ago, they decided to start focusing on child-porn trading.

“This is one aspect we could move toward and have a great impact with these types of investigations,” Williams said.

Cary police said they are part of a national network that tracks the trading of child porn over the Internet and can trace it back to specific addresses.

Investigators had enough evidence of activity to get a search warrant for Phelps’ unit in the Hidden Oaks Apartment complex. They seized his computers in July and spent weeks examining them.

“We’ve been doing a forensic exam on the computers to determine exactly what contact was on the computers,” Williams said.

When investigators determined it was child porn, officers tracked down Phelps at Cary's Red Roof Inn and arrested him.

“We’ve made it very clear at the town of Cary that we are going to protect the children of our community and through whatever means we can,” Williams said.

Phelps' arrest is this cybercrime unit's first from Internet child-porn trading.

Police said Phelps worked at a store in Cary Towne Center. They have not yet determined if he made the videos or distributed them.

Phelps was being held in the Wake County Jail Sunday under an $830,000 secured bond. His first court appearance was set for Monday.

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  • TestForFun Oct 5, 2009

    Thank you to the Cary Police for your efforts to keep our children safe. I hope they are able to track the source of the videos to get the children involved to safety. I'm impressed time and again how they use small details to find children and get them out of bad situations. Thanks for being their voice!

  • shellrocks2000 Oct 5, 2009

    lock him up and throw away the key

  • panthers254 Oct 5, 2009

    this guy used to work at my part time job. (retail)

    he always did seem sort of strange (and lazy) and was always very effeminate. i figured he was a little off, but i had no idea that it was this bad. he was fired a while back for stealing.

  • Rockermom Oct 5, 2009

    I can NOT understand these people. Sickos to the inth degree.

    Seems to be a lot of crazy stuff going on in Cary. hmmm....

  • MellowMelnJC Oct 5, 2009

    Nasty Just Nasty!

  • Journey985 Oct 5, 2009

    Anyone who looks at or gets "off" on looking at child porn need some serious help. I am glad this man is off the streets!!!

  • SomeRandomGuy Oct 5, 2009

    So what was he doing at the Red Roof Inn? It was said earlier that he worked there, but now it says he worked at Cary Town Center. I am very happy I moved out of Hidden Oaks now.