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Deputies: Bomb found at child porn suspect’s Lincolnton home

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer

Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies said they located a homemade bomb Tuesday morning while searching the home of a man also accused of possessing child porn.

Detectives Sally Dellinger and Dan Renn, assisted by officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, executed a search warrant at 1041 Bexley Lane on the county’s western end after gaining suspicion that resident Donald Eugene Cunningham, 36, was distributing child pornography, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Larry Seagle, the county agency’s public information officer, noted FBI officials secured the search warrant while the Sheriff’s Office filed charges.

During the search, investigators located a “cricket” bomb, made from a carbon dioxide cartridge filled with gun powder and a fuse.

Officers immediately exited the residence while the Gaston County Bomb Squad detonated the device in a field behind the home, deputies said.

Investigators also seized electronic equipment from the suspect’s home containing pornographic images of children and teens ages 8 to 15, according to an agency press release.

Cunningham is accused of not only receiving the images but also distributing and exchanging the illegal material.

The FBI is conducting an ongoing investigation into the incident.

Cunningham, who remains behind county bars under a $150,000 secured bond, is charged with one felony count each of second-degree sexual exploit of a minor/distribution of material and possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

Tuesday wasn’t the first time Cunningham has possessed such a weapon.

According to the North Carolina Department of Correction website, the suspect was found guilty of the same offense in Lincoln County in 1995.

He will have a first appearance in district court on Wednesday.

 

 

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