News and Press Releases

Chapel Hill Man Guilty Of Sex Offenses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2011

Faces Up To Twenty Years In Prison

Greensboro, N.C. – A Chapel Hill man pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and failure to register as a sex offender today, announced United States Attorney Ripley Rand.

Edward Earl Sparrow, 50, of Chapel, North Carolina, entered a plea of guilty to one count of possession of child pornography, an offense punishable by ten to twenty years in prison, and one count of failure to register as a sex offender and traveling in interstate commerce, punishable by up to ten years imprisonment. Sparrow will be sentenced on March 8, 2012, before United States District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder.

Sparrow pleaded guilty to the charges, which allege that he possessed depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and that he failed to update or change his sex offender registration upon moving from North Carolina to the Dominican Republic. Sparrow was obligated to register as a sex offender under North Carolina law following his release from state incarceration based on a 2010 conviction for felony indecent exposure, as well as to update that registration upon any change of address. On June 7, 2011, Sparrow was located in the Dominican Republic by the United States Marshal Service and thereafter extradited to the United States.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the United States Marshal Service, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and Orange County Department of Community Corrections, with the cooperation of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and authorities in the Dominican Republic. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anand P. Ramaswamy.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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Ripley Rand

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