Apex, N.C. — A former civilian employee with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol is accused of possessing child pornography.
James Warren Taylor, 45, of 1029 Manderston Lane in Apex, was arrested Thursday on 20 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, police said. He was placed in the Wake County jail under an $800,000 bond and scheduled to appear in court Friday afternoon.
The Highway Patrol said Thursday afternoon that Taylor was dismissed from his job in the Technical Support Division.
“The possession of child pornography is a felonious offense and the fact that it involves a civilian of the Patrol is appalling. We immediately began an internal investigation which resulted in his dismissal," patrol commander Col. Michael Gilchrist said in a statement.
The charges stem from a joint investigation between the Cary and Apex police departments that revealed the receipt and possession of child pornography, authorities said. The Highway Patrol also conducted an internal investigation into unauthorized use and misuse of a state computer.
Taylor was arrested after authorities searched his home on Thursday morning.
In applying for the warrant for the search, Apex and Cary police described the peer-to-peer networks on which child pornography is sometimes shared and how they tracked the specific Internet Protocol (IP) address from Taylor's computer. They described explicit video files officers knew to be on his computer.
Officers seized five computers from Taylor's home and six external storage drives.