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Joint Investigation Results in Child Predator Arrest in Boone


On Friday June 19, a joint law enforcement investigation concluded with the arrest of a child predator.

The agencies involved in this investigation and arrest were the Boone Police Department, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Davie County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children or “ICAC” Taskforce.

This investigation and arrest was the result of a proactive attempt by the mentioned law enforcement agencies to find and arrest the individuals that seek to victimize our children online.

A Boone Police Detective posed as a 14-year-old girl and responded to a personal ad on a popular web site. The ad requested “young” girls to respond to the poster. The ad went on to say, “the younger, the better.” The suspect was identified as Charles “Chuck” Cardwell, W/M, 59-years-old, from Mocksville.

Cardwell communicated with the undercover Detective for some time. The Detective maintained this undercover role as a 14-year-old girl throughout the entirety of this investigation. Cardwell requested a rendezvous in Boone with this believed-to-be child.

When the suspect arrived at the pre-arranged meeting location and time, he was approached by a Boone Police Detective and a Special Agent with North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Computer Crimes Unit. Cardwell was arrested and his vehicle was searched. Detectives seized items of evidence from Cardwell’s vehicle that they believe shows his intentions with the young girl if she were real and had arrived at the meeting location.

It is not appropriate to reveal any more of the details of this investigation at this time.

“Our children are our most precious possession. This is an example of the Boone Police Department doing everything we can to keep our children safe. This case identified and put a stop to serious online threat to our children,” Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford

“I am very proud of our Detectives in this case. These types of cases are very labor intensive and can require long hours by our Detectives. Their hard work is important, necessary and appreciated. We would also like to thank the NC State Bureau of Investigation, especially the Computer Crimes Unit for their forensic support and assistance in this case. Davie County Sheriff’s office was also a crucial part of this investigation. We are thankful for our law enforcement partners,” Boone Police Investigations Commander Chris Hatton.

The arrestee in this case is:

  • Charles Franklin Cardwell, 59 of 316 Pleasant Acre Drive in Mocksville.

The charges filed are:

  • One count of Felony First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.
  • One count of Felony Soliciting a Child by Computer.
  • One count of Felony Dissemination of Obscenity.
  • One count of Felony Indecent Liberties with a Child.

Cardwell’s court date was set for June 23rd, 2015, and his conditions of release were set as a $200,000 secured bond.