NC man indicted on 12 counts of child porn charges

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RALEIGH, NC (WNCT) – On Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Raleigh, a federal grand jury indicted a Jacksonville man on 12 counts of child pornography crimes.

Court officials say Morgan Jeffrey Shepard, age 32, of Jacksonville, North Carolina, was indicted on one count of producing child pornography, three counts of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity, seven counts of receipt of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.

According to the indictment, from September 2016 to November 2016, Shepard allegedly persuaded and enticed a child to engage in sex acts to create child pornography, and also enticed the same child to engage in sexual activity that constituted sexual exploitation of a child under North Carolina state law.

Additionally, the indictment alleges that between April 23 and April 27, 2018, Shepard enticed two additional children to engage in criminal sexual activity.

The indictment further alleges that beginning at a time unknown and ending on July 13, 2017, Shepard received at least seven images containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Lastly, the indictment alleges that on July 13, 2017, Shepard was found to be in possession of digital media containing images and videos involving minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

If convicted of these charges, Shepard would face a statutory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment.  He also would face up to a lifetime of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

The case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, and the Wilmington Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh is prosecuting the case for the government.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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