GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A local nurse and his son are in trouble.
Melvin and Andrew Wetzel face multiple charges of sexually exploiting a minor. Deputies say they downloaded sexually explicit images of children on their home computers.
It was a team effort by the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office and the Internet Crimes Against Children task force. The father and son turned themselves in Tuesday morning but Detective David Flynn says he doesn’t think they even knew each other were downloading images of children involved in sexual acts.
"I don’t think that either one was aware of the others activities, it was just more of a coincidence,” said Flynn.
Deputies seized two computers and several hard drives from the Wetzel’s home but they have no reason to believe the men physically touched a child.
"Most people think of that as actually putting your hands on a child. These cases are not that. They are simply folks that are looking at images or videos of children who have been abused,” said Flynn.
He says none of the children in the videos or pictures are local.
We’ve learned Melvin Wetzel is employed by the East Carolina Anesthesia Associates as a nurse anesthetist.
Although he declined an on-camera interview, Executive Administrator Geoffrey Norwood did speak to us privately. He says all the employees were in shock when they learned of Wetzel's charges this morning and that's not the man they all new him to be. The long time employee is on administrative leave.
Melvin Wetzel was released from the Pitt County detention center after posting a 100-thousand dollar bond. His son, Andrew, a student at D.H. Conley, is out on a 30-thousand dollar bond.
A spokesperson for Pitt County Schools would not comment on the charges against Andrew Wetzel.
GREENVILLE, N.C. - A local nurse and his son are charged with multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
The Pitt County Sheriff's Office says Melvin Wetzel is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
According to online records, Wetzel works at the East Carolina Anesthesia Associates in Greenville.
His son Andrew Wetzel, a student at DH Conley, has been charged with 7 counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
A spokesperson says the two were downloading images of children on their computers. At this time they have no reason to believe any of the children in the pictures are local.
Melivin Wetzel is under a 3 million dollar bond, while Andrew Wetzel is under a 30-thousand dollar bond.
The arrests came as part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.