Police said Wednesday that an investigation that led them to arrest a Raleigh man last week on charges of having pornographic photos and videos on his computer began outside the United States.
Steven Mack Pittman, 58, was arrested early on Sept. 3 at his home at 8909 Cape Henry Drive, near Strickland Road.
He was charged with 12 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a child, which indicates police believe he either copied or distributed pornographic images.
In arrest warrants, detectives said all the images involved unknown boys and girls who they thought were less than 12 years old.
Wednesday, police said the local case began after an investigator tracking pornography in an Asian nation contacted U.S. officials, and the Department of Homeland Security got involved in the case. They did not disclose what country began the probe.
When investigators tracked pornography to Pittman, police spokeswoman Laura Hourigan said, local detectives joined the case.
Police did not disclose whether the images they accused Pittman of having were taken from the Internet or were obtained overseas. When Pittman was arrested, a magistrate required that he surrender his passport as a condition of his bail.
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigator based in Wilmington was listed as a witness on the arrest warrants Raleigh police obtained, but his involvement was not explained.
Pittman’s bail was set at $5 million before his court appearance. He remained in the Wake County Detention Center on Wednesday in lieu of $2.5 million bail.