Michael Hughes

Hughes

CAMDEN — A Camden County man who an investigator says had at least 49 images of children engaging in sex on his phone remains in custody at Albemarle District Jail on eight felony counts of possessing child pornography.

Michael Lawrence Hughes, 28, of the 200 block of Smith Drive, was arrested May 6 on eight counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, according to arrest warrants. Hughes is being held at ADJ in lieu of a $400,000 secured bond.

Lt. J.C. Riggs of the Camden Sheriff’s Office said the eight felony counts Hughes is facing are for eight different child pornography images investigators recovered from his phone. Warrants issued for Hughes’ arrest indicate the images show at least eight different children between the ages of 5 and 12 engaging in sexual activity.

Riggs said investigators are “still going through” Hughes’ phone. He estimated there were 64,000 images on the phone and investigators have only been through roughly 5,000 of them.

Of that number, at least 450 contained images of child pornography, Riggs said.


Investigators believe Hughes downloaded the child pornography images from the internet, Riggs said. However, they’re also “trying to make sure none are manufactured porn,” meaning that they were produced locally.

“That’s what we’re investigating right now,” Riggs said.

Riggs said the Camden Sheriff’s Office investigation of Hughes was sparked by a complaint of a first degree statutory sexual offense at Hughes’ address in April. The investigation of that alleged incident continues.

According to Camden court officials, Hughes’ next court date is set for June 18. He’s being represented by an attorney with the state Public Defender’s Office, a clerk official said. That office couldn’t be reached Thursday for comment on the charges.