Ardmore man charged with distribution of obscene material or child pornography
On Tuesday, the Carter County Sheriffs Department executed a search warrant on suspicions of the distribution of obscene material or child pornography at an Ardmore residence within close proximity to a daycare center and school for autistic children.
Avery Gunner Sharp, 24, was arrested on charges of Distribution of Obscene Material or Child Pornography by the Carter County Sheriffs Department after a four-month joint investigation involving the Ardmore Police Department and initiated from tips received by the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children.
“A numerous amount, we don’t have an exact amount yet, they are still being downloaded,” Carter County Sheriffs Chris Bryant said. “He had it and he was distributing it. We are still going through his computer and it is still an ongoing investigation.”
According to the CCSD, the arrest and subsequent charges are related to images allegedly sent over the social media platform Discord.
“He did have a $100,000 bond and he did bond out today,” Bryant said.
The felony charge that was filled in district court on Thursday is punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years and a $10,000 fine, or both.
According to the CCSD, the images were of young children being sexually abused by an adult. None of victims are believed to be local children, with the CCSD citing that the majority of child pornography originating from eastern Europe.
According to the CCSD, the images were initially allegedly downloaded from dark web locations before being transmitted via Discord. The dark web is part of the internet hosted within an encrypted network and accessed only through special anonymity-providing tools.
“You have to be looking for these types of images in order for them to pop up, or going directly to these websites,” Bryant said.
The four-month joint investigation involved the assistance of the Ardmore Police Department.
“It just shows the working relationship between the two agencies and it just goes to show how well positive relationships work,” Bryant said. “We are the voice for these victims. We see about six to seven a year, but we are always looking for them. I would encourage anyone that suspects anything of this nature to contact their local law enforcement.”
NCMEC’s CyberTipline is a national centralized reporting system for the online exploitation of children. The public and electronic service providers can make reports of suspected online enticement of children for sexual acts, extra-familial child sexual molestation, child pornography, child sex tourism, child sex trafficking, unsolicited obscene materials sent to a child, misleading domain names, and misleading words or digital images on the internet.
If you see sexually explicit images or videos of minors on the internet, report them at https://report.cybertip.org/ or the 24-hour hotline (800) 843-5678.