Man admits to filming young girls at Gatlinburg water park, authorities say

A North Carolina man faces multiple charges for sexual exploitation of a minor and manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, according to the Alamance County N.C. Sheriff’s Office.
Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 8:18 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 8:20 AM EDT
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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. (WVLT) - Officials with the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office said a man was arrested after he allegedly filmed young girls at a water park in Tennessee.

According to authorities, on February 5, 2021, members of the Human Exploitation Team began an undercover investigation involving a man who offered to share child sexual abuse materials with deputies.

Officials obtained the suspect’s IP address and issued a subpoena. In May, investigators received information from the subpoena which indicated that the IP address belonged to Christopher Earnest Stefan, 45, of Haw River, North Carolina.

A judge issued a search warrant was Stefan’s home along with any outbuildings on the property. On June 3, members of the Alamance Co. Sheriff’s Human Exploitation Team and Special Victim’s Unit executed the search warrant.

Authorities say after searching the house and outbuildings, numerous files of child sex abuse materials were found on Stefan’s computers. Officers also said they found homemade gun suppressors and machines used to make them. A short barrel rifle with a suppressor attached to it was found in Stefan’s home along with a small amount of cocaine, according to reports. Officials confirmed Stefan had allegedly been making and selling suppressors online.

”I don’t want to say this is something we come across all the time, but having this dedicated team to work on these cases but, it is something we come across often. Most of the time it is local, but there are times that it happens over state lines,” said Lt. Jaleesa Washington, Special Victims Unit Alamance County Sheriffs Department.

Investigators stated Stefan admitted to owning numerous files of child sex abuse materials and making and selling suppressors.

ATF Agents were requested to help with the investigation of manufacturing and selling of suppressors and altered firearms.

Officials said Stefan admitted to filming young girls at a water park in Tennessee and a splash pad in downtown Mebane, North Carolina.

“Sometimes these people can be around us and we not know. But it is good to make sure to be aware of your surroundings. A lot of the time you might see individuals hanging around the park. Because the park is where people take their children, sometimes have a picnic. But, like I said if you see something that’s strange make sure to call your local law enforcement,” said Lt. Washington.

Stefan was charged with six counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of cocaine, possession of weapons of mass destruction, and three counts of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.

Officials said, due to the amount of forensic evidence collected, the case is ongoing and additional charges are possible. Anyone with information is asked to call the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office to speak with a member of the Human Exploitation Team or the Special Victims Unit at 336-570-6300.

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