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Child porn, sex trafficking cases link Wisconsin school superintendent and North Carolina IT director

Federal grand juries have indicted a Wisconsin school superintendent and a North Carolina computer technician on charges of sex trafficking of a minor and production of child pornography,  the US Attorneys in the Western District of Wisconsin and the Western District of North Carolina announced Thursday.

Myra Longfield, a spokeswoman for US Attorney in Western Wisconsin, told WQOW that the common thread in the two cases was the victim.

Dan Peggs, 32, of Altoona, Wisconsin, has been charged with sex trafficking of a minor and production of child pornography. Bryan Lee Ragon, 43, of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been charged with the same two crimes plus transporting the minor across state lines for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual activity and receiving child pornography. Both indictments were unsealed when the men were arrested.

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Peggs’s arrest shocked the Altoona School District, where he began serving as superintendent of schools just last July. According to WEAU, Assistant US Attorney Julie Pfluger said the victim was not an Altoona School District student. The station reported that Peggs was the principal of Gilman High School in the Gilman School District when the alleged events took place.

The Wisconsin indictment alleges that Peggs “recruited and maintained” a minor for a commercial sex act from October 2015 to May 2016 recorded child pornography with the minor on an iPhone in December 2015.

The North Carolina indictment alleges that Ragon trafficked a minor in “North Carolina, Wisconsin, and elsewhere, from December 16, 2015 to December 31, 2015; produced pornography involving the minor in December 2015, and received child pornography that same month.

Peggs pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance in Madison on Thursday afternoon and is scheduled to appear again in court on Monday for a possible home release. Ragon made a first appearance on Thursday as well and is due back in court on Tuesday.

The US Attorney’s Office said Peggs faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum of life in federal prison on the sex trafficking charge.  The production of child pornography charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years.

Ragon faces the same possible penalties on the sex trafficking and child pornography charges. Additionally, the tranportation charge carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life, while the receipt of child porn charge carries a minimum of five years and maximum of 20 years.

It’s not clear if Ragon and Peggs know one another. According to LinkedIn, Ragon in an IT director at a Charlotte company and attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville from 2005 to 2010, according to the US Attorneys Office.

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[Featured image: Dan Peggs/Dane County Jail and Bryan Ragon/Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office]