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Press Release

Fayetteville Man Sentenced to More Than 19 Years After Undercover Operation Reveals Sexual Video Chats with Young Girls

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

NEW BERN, N.C. – David Leon Autry, III, of Fayetteville was sentenced Wednesday to 235 months in prison for production of child pornography.  Autry, 34, pled guilty to the charge on October 20, 2021. 

According to court documents and other information presented in court, on February 16, 2020, an undercover FBI agent operating out of Albany, New York, was investigating child exploitation activity on the Kik cellphone messaging application.  The undercover joined a Kik group that was known to be frequented by people who have a sexual interest in children and created a post about a fictitious nine-year-old daughter.  Shortly thereafter, a user later identified as Autry sent a private message to the undercover asking, “Any pics vids.”  Autry proceeded to explain that his favorite age range was 6-13 years old and that he watched a large amount of child pornography.  Autry also sent the undercover multiple videos in which adult males sexually abused infants.  At the undercover agent’s request, Autry provided a photograph of himself as well as an email address and other social media information.  FBI then identified Autry through administrative subpoenas.

On March 18, 2020, FBI agents located Autry at his place of work in Fayetteville to execute a search warrant on his cell phone.  Autry denied having a cell phone on him.  He then said that he needed to use the restroom, and when he turned to leave, agents spotted a black cell phone in his back pocket.  Agents seized the phone, and Autry attempted to wrestle it from them before being brought to the ground and handcuffed. 

A forensic analyst uncovered over 100 files of child sexual abuse material on the phone, including 45 unique videos.  Investigators discovered that Autry himself had created numerous files by taking screenshots of his activity on an anonymous video chat application.  In these images, Autry video chats with girls who appear to be as young as 11, as they display their genitals and engage in other sexual activity.

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 Federal Bureau of Investigation 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. 5:21-cr-0030-FL.

Updated March 3, 2023

Topic
Project Safe Childhood