Police say 3 men arrested on child pornography charges - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Police say 3 men arrested on child pornography charges

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Jared Smith Jared Smith
Paul Knapen Paul Knapen
Paul Baalerud Paul Baalerud
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Cyber detectives with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department arrested three men for child pornography related charges.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped off police saying a user uploaded images of child exploitation, officers say.

Police say they collected evidence and obtained warrants for the arrest of Jared Smith, 32, for third degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Smith, registered sex offender, turned himself into the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office on Jan. 21 according to CMPD.

By developing leads through online undercover investigations into the exchange of illegal pornographic material on the Internet, police say they were able to search the homes of two men.

Detectives say they found several images and video of child pornography at the homes of Paul Baalerud, 55, and Paul Knapen, 44.

Police say they arrested Baalerud on Jan. 10 and charged him with three counts of 2nd degree sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of 3rd degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Knapen was arrested on Jan. 17 and was charged with six counts of 3rd degree sexual exploitation of a minor according to CMPD.

Both men were taken to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) assisted with these investigations and arrests.
 
Anyone with additional information concerning these cases or the suspects is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. 

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