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Press Release

Fayetteville Man Sentenced to More Than 15 Years for Child Pornography After Negotiating a Plan to Have Sex with a Child in Jamaica

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

NEW BERN, N.C. – Darren Kalmar of Fayetteville was sentenced today to 188 months in prison for two counts of receipt of child pornography.  Kalmar, 58, pled guilty to the charge on May 13, 2022.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, in 2019, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received two CyberTip reports from a social networking platform, Tagged, regarding suspected child exploitation activity.  The CyberTips concerned activity in May 2019 between two users who discussed arranging for sex with minors abroad.  One user, later identified as Kalmar, mentioned having sex with a 13-year-old Dominican girl and asked the other person to arrange contact with a girl who was nine or 10 years old.  The other responded with a photo that appeared to depict a prepubescent female, and Kalmar responded, “perfect, I want her.”  They negotiated prices, settling on $90 for nude photos and $250 for access to the child for five days.  He provided a CashApp payment username that contained “kalmar” and an email address with username dskalmar32.  At the end of the conversation, Kalmar states that he sent the money and that he needs the photos now before asking the second user, “You get the money and run[?]”

The IP address for the second user was traced to a woman in Jamaica.  Kalmar’s IP was tracked to a residence in Fayetteville, and DMV records showed that the defendant Darren Kalmar resided there.  Law enforcement compared Kalmar’s driver’s license photo to a user profile photo on his Tagged account and found that they matched. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) executed a search warrant on Kalmar’s home on October 18, 2019.  On Kalmar’s cellphone, agents found audio files in which Kalmar appeared to be discussing upcoming travel to the Philippines for sex with a 15-year-old minor female and her friends.  FBI confirmed that Kalmar had purchased tickets to travel to the Philippines on those dates.  Records also showed Kalmar had previously traveled to Cambodia and the Philippines in 2018. 

Kalmar agreed to be interviewed and admitted to owning the Tagged account and chatting with someone in Jamaica.  He also confirmed that the CashApp account was his but claimed the conversation arranging a sexual encounter with a minor was merely fantasy. 

FBI conducted forensics on Kalmar’s computer and several mobile devices.  On a cellphone they found 21 images depicting child sexual abuse material (CSAM), and on a computer they found an additional 401 images and 11 videos of CSAM.  The files included minors under the age of 12. 

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The FBI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh  prosecuted.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:22-cr-00013-FL.


Updated February 22, 2023

Project Safe Childhood