Administrator Of Online Group Chat Dedicated To Trafficking Child Pornography Is Sentenced To 22 Years In Prison
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced Ted D. Melton, 46, of Charlotte, to 365 months in prison on child pornography charges, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Melton was also ordered to register as a sex offender and to serve the rest of his life under court supervision after he is released from prison. Judge Bell also ordered Melton to have no contact with victims of child pornography.
U.S. Attorney Murray is joined in making today’s announcement by Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Sheriff Darren Campbell of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.
On October 21, 2020, Melton pleaded guilty to production of child pornography and possession with intent to view child pornography containing a minor who had not attained 12 years of age. According to filed documents and statements made in court, in February 2015, officers with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force determined that an individual later identified as Melton was using a peer-to-peer file sharing program to distribute child pornography. According to court records, in June 2015, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Melton’s residence, and seized his computers, a camera and a cell phone. Over the course of the investigation law enforcement determined that Melton had also sexually abused two minor females and had produced child pornography. A forensic analysis of Melton’s devices revealed that he possessed more than 18,000 images and 850 videos containing sexually explicit conduct involving children, including the child victims Melton had sexually assaulted.
Melton was arrested on state charges in 2015. He was transferred to federal custody in November 2019 upon his indictment on federal charges. He will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray commended the FBI in Charlotte and the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office for their investigation of the case and thanked the Statesville Police Department for their invaluable assistance.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alfredo De La Rosa, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice, aimed at combating the growing online sexual exploitation of children. By combining resources, federal, state and local agencies are better able to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue those victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov