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Sheriff: Statesville man arrested in connection with child pornography investigation
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Sheriff: Statesville man arrested in connection with child pornography investigation

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A Statesville man was arrested on four felony charges related to child pornography after an investigation by the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, Iredell Sheriff Darren Campbell said in a news release.

Tony Ernest Bunton, 64, of Eufola Road, was charged with four counts of felony third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. A magistrate set bond at $100,000.

The investigation began through a cyber-tip received by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. ICSO’s Special Victims Unit investigated after the case was assigned to Detective Jena Wabel.

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Campbell said Wabel reviewed and verified the information as well as the images received, and determined the images were child pornography. Based on information related to the images, Wabel obtained a search warrant for Bunton’s residence in Statesville.

Detectives and road patrol deputies executed the search warrant on Tuesday and seized several electronic devices and other items of evidence from inside the residence, Campbell said. Bunton was located at the residence.

Campbell said based on the cyber-tip information, the evidence recovered, and statements made by the suspect, Bunton was taken into custody at the scene.

The investigation is still ongoing at this time, and Bunton could face additional charges.

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