The Canton man investigators called “one of the most active child porn consumers in the state” has been indicted on 10 counts related to his charges.

Dwight Watson, 43, who was indicted earlier this month by a Cherokee County grand jury on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of children, is set to be arraigned Jan. 10, court records show,.

According to his indictment, Watson “knowingly possessed” graphic photographs and graphic videos depicting young boys and girls engaged in lewd sexual acts and intended to distribute them.

Investigators believe some of the videos in Watson’s possession featured children as young as 5 or 6 years old, according to arrest warrants taken out against the man.

Watson was arrested following a Sept. 28 search of his Canton home and subsequently charged with 50 counts of child pornography after a two-month investigation into him by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.

Detectives seized two laptops, thumb drives, cell phones and several external hard drives containing “tens of thousands of files of interest” from the Canton man’s home on Carrington Way, investigators said.

Watson was initially released Sept. 30 on a $50,000 bond but a Magistrate Court judge ordered his bond be increased to $400,000 after the district attorney’s office filed a motion raise the amount.

In a hearing held Oct. 5, the state placed Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Detective Claude Dobbs on the stand. Dobbs, the lead investigator in the case against Watson, testified that the father of two accused of possessing child pornography “was freelancing for New Hope Ministries as a sex addiction counselor.”

He also said it appeared Watson had tampered with evidence in the case, resetting his laptop after he was told detectives were executing a search warrant at his home.

Dobbs said investigators believe Watson may have used the three-hour window between the time they arrived at his home and the time he was taken into custody to wipe his laptop of any evidence of child pornography.

“It looked like the user profile was deleted or that it was factory-restored,” Dobbs told the Magistrate Court judge, adding that Watson admitted having child pornography on that particular laptop during an interview conducted inside the jail following his arrest.

“Mr. Watson is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation,” District Attorney Shannon Wallace said Tuesday. “His arraignment is scheduled for Jan.10.”

Watson’s case has been assigned to Superior Court Judge David Cannon and Zack Smith is set to prosecute him on the state’s behalf, Wallace said.

Watson was being held at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center.

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