Man charged in child exploitation enterprise, documents say

LENOIR — An Indiana man appeared in federal court Monday on charges he was involved in a "child exploitation enterprise" with a website with servers based in Lenoir, NC.

Michael Fluckiger is charged with knowingly engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, sexual exploitation of children as well as other child pornography related charges. He pleaded not guilty and consented to remain in jail.

In a criminal complaint, investigators with the FBI alleged he was an administrator of an unnamed child pornography website that was "dedicated to the advertisement and distribution of child pornography" and "including the safety and security of individuals who seek to sexually exploit children online."

"It's depravity at its height," said Chris Swecker, former FBI Assistant Director.

Court documents allege Fluckiger was convicted of molesting a 9-year-old girl in Indiana in the early 90s. Investigators said he committed the crimes in Indiana, but the server for the website was based in Lenoir.

One other person, Steven Chase, has been arrested in Florida for his involvement in the scheme.

"[Investigators are] identifying these websites as fast as they can as soon as a website goes up they're going to try to infiltrate it," Swecker said.

Court documents do not name the website in question because it is still up and running. Swecker told Eyewitness News that now that investigators have found it, it can be used as a trap to catch what he calls the worst kind of these criminals -- those who make child pornography.

"They're like a honey pot for child pornographers. So it's a great way to identify people who are not just purveying child pornogrpahy, but producing it," Swecker said.