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Press Release

Hickory Man With Extensive Inventory Of Child Pornography Is Sentenced To 11 Years In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
Law Enforcement Found Over 50,000 Images and Videos Depicting the Sexual Abuse of Children on Seized Electronic Devices

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Dena J. King announced today that Chad Joseph Caesar, 39, of Hickory, N.C., was sentenced to 132 months in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for receipt of child pornography.

Cardell T. Morant, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina and South Carolina, and Reed Baer of the Hickory Police Department (HPD) join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to court documents and the sentencing hearing, in February 2023, HPD was notified that Caesar’s computer had been flagged by his employer for a security violation. The HPD initiated an investigation, which led to the execution of a search warrant at Caesar’s residence. Law enforcement seized Caesar’s electronic devices, which were analyzed forensically. The analysis revealed that Caesar’s devices contained an extensive inventory of child pornography – more than 50,000 images and videos – depicting the sexual abuse of children, including infants and toddlers, and files that contained sadistic and masochistic conduct and bestiality. Also, court records show that Caesar’s collection of child pornography included images and videos of over 250 victims who have previously been identified by name. Many of those identified victims submitted victim impact statements for the Court’s consideration at sentencing. Judge Bell, commenting on those victim impact statements at sentencing, noted that “When you read their letters they are forever abused … They live in fear for the rest of their lives.”

On December 6, 2023, Caesar pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography.

In announcing today’s sentence, U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell said that the victims “live in fear for the rest of their lives,” and “When you read the letters they are forever abused.”

Caesar will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending transportation to a designated federal Bureau of Prisons’ facility.

The HSI and the Hickory Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Cervantes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte was in charge of the prosecution.

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

Updated June 26, 2024

Project Safe Childhood