News and Press Releases


WEDNESDAY - November 10, 2010


GREENVILLE – Today, Senior United States District Court Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced JEFFREY TORIAN PHELPS of Cary, North Carolina, to 151 months’ imprisonment for distribution of child pornography over the Internet. PHELPS also received a lifetime of supervised release upon completion of his sentence.

A joint investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Cary Police Department discovered that PHELPS was sharing child pornography over the internet using Peer-to-Peer software in July of 2009. After identifying PHELPS as the suspect, investigators executed a search warrant on his residence, and when interviewed, PHELPS admitted having used peer to peer software to acquire child pornography. After arrest warrants were issued in the case, PHELPS was found in a local hotel room with a passport, travel brochures, a packed suitcase, and cash, and told investigators that had they not found him there, he would have soon fled the country.

United States Attorney George E.B. Holding congratulated investigators on today’s sentence: “I am grateful that law enforcement was able to arrest PHELPS before he could get further in his attempt to evade responsibility for his crime, and that today’s sentence matches the gravity of this crime. We intend to continue doing everything we can to make the Eastern District of North Carolina safe for our children.”

PHELPS was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals who sexually exploit and abuse children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level. For more information about this important national project, go to

Investigation was led by the State Bureau of Investigation and the Cary Police Department, and the Wake County District Attorney’s office worked extensively on the matter and coordinated the case with federal prosecutors. Assistant United States Attorney Jay Exum handled the case for the United States.

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