Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields announced in a news advisory the arrest of one individual following an investigation in the Carthage area.
On May 4, the Moore County Sheriff’s Office initiated an undercover investigation after receiving information about an individual possessing child sexual assault material.
On May 22, the Moore County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Santana Cruz Lara, 33, of Heron Road, Carthage.
Lara was charged with nine counts of felony second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and nine counts of felony third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
Lara was confined to the Moore County Detention Center under a $500,000 secured bond pending his first appearance on June 7 in Moore County district court.
“The Moore County Sheriff’s Office is an active member of the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce,” said Fields.
Defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.