Carteret County man arrested after leaving phone with child porn on it at New Year’s Eve party

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Donald Earl Willis, 61
688 Straits Road
Gloucester, NC 28528

BEAUFORT, NC – Carteret County deputies arrested a man after he left his phone at a neighbor’s house and the person who found it discovered child pornography on it.

On Wednesday, January 1, a Carteret County Sheriff’s Office detective responded to the Magistrate’s Office in Beaufort after the person who found the phone described seeing pornographic images of children on it.

The reporting person stated that Donald Earl Willis, 61, of Gloucester was attending a New Year’s Eve party and left his phone at the residence where the party occurred. The following morning, the owner of the residence discovered the unlocked phone and attempted to identity who the phone belonged to. After gaining access to the phone menu, the person who found the phone discovered what appeared to be child pornography.


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After a search warrant was executed on the phone, a forensic examination discovered over a dozen image files depicting child pornography, featuring pre-pubescent children.

Willis was arrested Tuesday morning on 11 counts of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor. His bond was set at $100,000.

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