A western Iredell County man faces four felony charges related to child pornography following an investigation by the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

Tony Bunton

The ICSO began investigating on Monday, August 30, after the Special Victims Unit received information from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation regarding a person in Iredell County being in possession of child pornography, Sheriff Darren Campbell said.

The case was assigned to Detective Jena Wabel, who reviewed and verified the information and determined the images were child pornography, according to an ICSO news release.

Based on information related to the images, Detective Wabel obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s residence off Eufola Road.

ICSO detectives and deputies executed the search warrant on Tuesday, August 31, and seized several electronic devices and other items of evidence from inside the residence, Campbell said.

The suspect, identified as 64-year-old Tony Ernest Bunton, was located at the residence, according to the news release.

Based on the cyber-tip information, the evidence recovered and statements made by the suspect, Bunton was taken into custody at the scene. He was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center, where he was charged with four counts of felony third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Magistrate Tutterrow issued a $100,000 secure bond.

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