A Burke County teacher has been charged in connection with an international porn ring bust.
Michael Andrew Alexander, 54, is behind bars on multiple sex offenses that occurred between 2001 and this year, detectives said. Alexander most recently worked as a drama teacher at Hildebran Elementary School and previously taught at Glen Alpine Elementary.
The Morganton News Herald reported Thursday that Alexander was dismissed from his job Tuesday.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office said it was alerted to Alexander’s role in the alleged porn ring on Wednesday after it was contacted by the federal and state bureaus of investigation.
According to the sheriff’s office, Europol had been investigating suspected child pornography. A suspect, Javier Alvarez Varela, was arrested in Barcelona, Spain as part of a takedown known as Operation ‘Filipo,’” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. That arrest helped lead authorities to Alexander.
Alexander is charged with one count of felony first degree sex offense with a child, three felony counts of indecent liberties with a child and five counts of felony second degree exploitation of a minor.
He was placed in the Burke Catawba District Confinement Facility under a $1 million bond and is due in court on Friday.
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Burke County Sheriff’s Office at 828-438-5500. Observer staff writer April Bethea contributed