Cary man sentenced on child porn charges after guilty plea, officials say

Wake County News

Christopher Thomas Ward in a photo from CCBI

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Federal officials say that a Cary man will spend at least five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to child porn charges last year.

Christopher Thomas Ward, 37, will spend 70 months (5.8 years) in prison for the crime of receipt of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina said in a Friday news release.

As part of a plea agreement, Ward was also sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle to a 10-year term of supervised release after the time in prison, the news release said.

The case goes back to 2017 when an investigation “into a file-sharing network identified Ward’s IP address as advertising known child pornography files, which were directly downloaded from Ward’s IP address on multiple dates,” officials said.

Investigators executed a search warrant in mid-December 2017 and seized numerous electronic devices from Ward’s home.

“A forensic review of the seized devices determined that Ward had amassed hundreds of thousands of files containing child pornography images and videos,” the news release said.

Later, Ward “admitted to searching for, downloading and storing child pornography,” according to the news release.

The Cary Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.

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