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Wendy Reuer, Published November 09 2012

Fargo man faces 13 felony charges linked to child porn allegations

FARGO – A south Fargo computer specialist is accused of possessing and possibly sharing a large amount of child pornography at his home and on his computer.

Robert Carey Evans, 57, was charged Friday in Cass County District Court with 13 counts of possession of prohibited materials. Each charge is a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

According to court documents, Fargo police received information from the North Dakota Bureau of Investigation that linked an IP address in Fargo to child pornography. The police then tracked the IP address to Evans’ home at 1434 East Gateway Circle in Fargo.

Evans moved to the apartment from Wisconsin in July. The apartment manager told police he was not sure if Evans’ wife was still in Wisconsin or had moved in as well, court documents say.

Police executed a search warrant Thursday morning at Evans’ apartment, where they seized 22 digital items and another 17 files were exported from Evans’ computer. Several DVDs of alleged child porn were found in the living room, on bookshelves and on an ironing board, the police report said.

Later Thursday morning, police questioned Evans at a Blue Cross Blue Shield office in Fargo. Evans was working at the office as part of his job as a project manager for Tek Systems.

According to the police report, Evans answered a number of questions until he was asked if he had done any file sharing. At that point, he said he wanted an attorney and was arrested, the report said.

Evans appeared in court Friday where Judge Wade Webb issued a $200,000 cash bond, said Assistant Cass County State’s Attorney Tristan Van de Streek.

Fargo police Lt. Joel Vettel said the large amount of materials found at Evan’s home may be a sign he was involved in distributing child porn.

“Certainly that is part of the investigation, to establish what those images were used for,” Vettel said. “We believe that there was sharing of that information and those images.”

Vettel said Friday that officers were still sifting through the items seized.

Evans was appointed a public defender. His attorney, Nicholas Thornton, could not be reached Friday for comment.

Vettel did not rule out making other arrests relating to the case.

“We know there certainly is a network involved in many of these cases where people are sharing the video, images, pictures,” he said. “We want to identify those involved and seek prosecution against these individuals.”

Evans is scheduled to appear next in court on Dec. 6.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530