Skip to main content
Press Release

Harnett County Man Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison for Producing Child Pornography

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Cameron, N.C. man was sentenced today to 324 months in prison followed by a lifetime term of supervised release for the production of child pornography between August and July of 2019. Additionally, he was ordered to pay $122,000.00 in restitution to the minor, hands on production victim.  On August 3, 2022, Ivan Velez, 26, pled guilty to the charges.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, in August of 2020 Velez posted a video of a female infant in a chat room on the messaging platform known as KIK. The following day, Velez sent an undercover Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Agent a private message containing another video, constituting child pornography, of the same infant. The IP address was traced to an address in Cameron, and Velez’s registered vehicle was parked in the driveway of the residence. Investigators with HSI, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI), and the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) worked together quickly to obtain a search warrant for the residence which was executed on August 14, 2020.

Velez was present when the search warrant was executed and agreed to speak with investigators. During the conversation, Velez admitted to utilizing the username associated with the KIK account that sent the video and to distributing child pornography on KIK. Velez further admitted to creating child pornography videos depicting his sexual abuse of the minor child approximately a year earlier. Investigators determined that Velez recorded his sexual abuse of the minor child, who was less than two years old at the time of the abuse, on no less than three separate occasions.

The search of the residence yielded a cell phone and other media storage, containing a total of 5,150 image files and 383 video files depicting sexual exploitation of minors. The content discovered in the search included at least five different videos of depicting Velez’s sexual abuse of the minor child.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Department of Homeland Security, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan M. Stephany prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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

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-00214-D.

Updated August 2, 2023

Project Safe Childhood