NEW INFO: Google complaint led to Onslow County deputy child porn arrest

ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WITN) - A complaint by Google led to the arrest and firing of an Onslow County deputy sheriff for possessing child porn.

1st Sgt. Mark Perrigo was fired by Sheriff Hans Miller when SBI agents arrested him for nine counts of exploitation of a minor.

The State Bureau of Investigation tells us they found child pornography on a personal device when conducting a search of Perrigo's home.

Perrigo had been a school resource officer at White Oak High School until this summer. He was not assigned as an SRO for this coming school year, apparently because he was planning to retire.

Search warrants obtained by WITN News say that back on June 5th, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a complaint from Google that someone using the name Mark Perrigo had uploaded a pornographic picture within their infrastructure.

The SBI says it was a picture of an 8 to 12-year-old girl with her private parts exposed.

The search warrant was for the deputy's River Birch Place home and his two vehicles.

Court documents say last Tuesday the SBI seized two cell phones from the home.

Perrigo has an August 29th court date and is free on bond.

On multiple occasions last week, WITN requested to see any search warrants on the case. Today, Clerk of Court Lisa Brown told us due to a clerical error, they had not been placed in the defendant's public court file.


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A day after being arrested on child porn charges the SBI says its investigation of a former Onslow County Sheriff's Office Deputy and School Resource Officer continues.

The Onslow County Sheriff's Office says Deputy Mark Perrigo was dismissed from his position following his arrest. He's also no longer an SRO at White Oak High School.

The State Bureau of Investigation tells us they found child pornography on a personal device when conducting a search of Perrigo's home on Wednesday.

Perrigo is charged with nine counts of exploitation of a minor.

Parents of White Oak students were taken aback to hear of the allegations against him.

Stephanie Heinzerling says, "I never would've thought or guessed anything like that so it definitely was quite a big shock."

Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller couldn't comment on the specifics of the case because the investigation is being conducted by the SBI, however, he says Perrigo's employment was terminated because he says they hold anyone who wears the badge to a higher standard and do not tolerate acts that Perrigo is charged with.

Miller says, "I did have the opportunity to speak with the investigating agent on Tuesday night at the Onslow County jail and I am convinced that there was probable cause."

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children gave the SBI the tip about a person in Jacksonville viewing child sexual material which led to Perrigo's arrest.

Perrigo was released from jail on $30,000 secured bond.


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An Eastern Carolina deputy sheriff, who up until this summer had been a school resource officer, has been charged with possessing child pornography.

The State Bureau of Investigation yesterday arrested Onslow County Deputy Mark Perrigo on nine charges of third degree exploitation of a minor.

The SBI says it received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about a person in Jacksonville viewing child sexual exploitation material.

After the tip, SBI agents searched the deputy's home on Riverbirch Place and arrested him.

Perrigo was given a $30,000 secured bond and has since been released from jail.

An Onslow County Schools spokesman confirmed that Perrigo had been a school resource officer for the past ten years, most recently at White Oak High School.

The spokesman said Perrigo was not returning as an SRO this fall.

Onslow County government says Perrigo has been dismissed by the sheriff's office.