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September 9, 2022Elizabeth City, NC, United StatesChild Exploitation

North Carolina man sentenced to more than 41 years in prison for production, distribution of child pornography

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – A Swansboro man was sentenced Sept. 6 to 500 months of imprisonment, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for producing and distributing child pornography following a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigation. William Thomas Bailey, 42, pled guilty to the charges Jan. 4.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Bailey was investigated by HSI in early 2018 after being identified as part of an online group trading child pornography. An email address belonging to Bailey was used to trade child pornography with multiple users. In addition, agents discovered an email where Bailey bragged to someone about sexually abusing a very young child.

“Our local communities are safer today with this child predator behind bars,” said Ronnie Martinez, special agent in charge of HSI Charlotte.

During the execution of a search warrant, over 300 images and videos of child sexual abuse were discovered on Bailey’s cell phone. Additionally, there were 11 images and one video depicting the sexual abuse of a two-year-old toddler created using Bailey’s cell phone. Agents were able to identify the child as someone with whom Bailey had direct contact. During the forensic analysis of Bailey’s phone, agents discovered that Bailey had distributed the child’s images and video multiple times to others seeking out child pornography.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after the sentencing was concluded. U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle presided over the sentencing. HSI investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charity Wilson prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No 4:2020cr00056.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 86 overseas locations in 55 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 09/09/2022