Authorities placed a Rougemont man into custody on 20 counts of third degree exploitation of a minor and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon on Tuesday, June 5 following his surrender.
Harold Dean Bowden, 62, turned himself in following a months-long investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
“The chronology of this case shows how time consuming and detailed these investigations are,” said lead investigator of the case Ashley Woodlief in an Orange County Sheriff’s Office press release. “As perpetrators are collecting or sending digital images, we may simultaneously be working through the steps required to secure a warrant. Sometimes the original tip we received might be about one or two inappropriate images, but by the time we seize electronic evidence, the inventory may have increased significantly.”
A cyber tip was sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding possible child pornography on Feb. 13, 2019.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation obtained a search warrant for the IP address and connected it with a suspect name and possible home address, which was within the jurisdiction of the Orange County Sheriff’s office.