On February 21st, the Boone Police Department and Watauga County Sheriff’s Office were notified of a potential incident involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

Detectives with both agencies began an investigation into the matter and 22-year-old Frank Darrell Cromwell of Boone was arrested on February 26th. He was charged with five counts of Felony First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and four counts of Felony Second Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.

Cromwell was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate, where he was assigned a court date of March 22nd and placed under a $100,000 secured bond.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Computer Crimes Unit also assisted with the investigation.

The Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are members of the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which is continually engaged in proactive and reactive investigations and prosecutions of persons involved in child abuse and exploitation of children involving the internet.

The Boone Police Department is planning to cover the topic of internet safety during an upcoming Coffee with a Cop event on June 27th at the Town of Boone Council Chambers. The public is invited to attend.