Sunday, July 21, 2024

Update: Documents reveal child porn crimes were committed at Oak Island mayor’s address

Mayor Cin Brochure's mailing address is the same location where Justin Brochure's alleged child pornography crimes were committed over the course of several years. The town's elected officials, including Mayor Brochure, have refused to comment on the potential conflict of interest this presents.

Crimes allegedly committed by Justin Brochure, the mayor of Oak Island's son, took place over two years at the mayor's current mailing address. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Town of Oak Island)
Crimes allegedly committed by Justin Brochure, the mayor of Oak Island’s son, took place over two years at the mayor’s current mailing address. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Town of Oak Island)

Update, Thursday 2 p.m. — On Monday, three days after this article published, Justin Brochure was indicted on his previous charges by a grand jury in Brunswick County Superior Court. As a result, Brochure was re-arrested on the new bill of indictment Tuesday morning and is currently being held in Brunswick County jail on a $100,000 bond.

Oak Island Town Attorney Brian Edes has still not provided comment on behalf of Town Council or Mayor Cin Brochure; he initially responded to a request one week ago, saying he would provide comment on Friday, Nov. 2

OAK ISLAND — An Oak Island investigation into child pornography charges against Justin Brochure, the son of Mayor Cynthia “Cin” Brochure, started with alleged crimes committed at the mayor’s mailing address.

After being notified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Oak Island Police Department has investigated Justin Brochure since February of 2017; during that time, his mother has served as Mayor.

RELATED: Oak Island breaks silence, says top police resignations not connected to arrest of mayor’s son

After extensive public records requests and sifting through property records and land deeds, Port City Daily has confirmed the alleged crimes took place at Mayor Brochure’s mailing address.

The initial incident report filed by the Oak Island Police Department lists the address where the incidents took place at 427 Womble Street in Oak Island.

427 Womble Street in Oak Island is listed as the mayor's current mailing address. Alleged crimes committed by the mayor's son took place over a period of two years at this address. (Port City Daily photo/ Google Maps)
427 Womble Street in Oak Island is listed as the mayor’s current mailing address. Alleged crimes committed by the mayor’s son took place over a period of two years at this address. (Port City Daily photo/ Google Maps)

No public records indicate Justin Brochure, the accused, is tied to the address where the alleged crimes were committed, however, his mother’s name is attached to the address on multiple Brunswick County documents.

Still, neither the town, nor the mayor has publicly commented about the potential conflict of interest of having the town investigate alleged crimes into its mayor’s son, committed at her mailing address.

More questions

The town’s attorney, Brian Edes, recently said that a string of police department resignations that took place just days following Brochure’s re-arrest last month are completely unrelated to the alleged crimes.

Questions arose when Port City Daily examined arrest warrants and saw that the charges originally stemmed from Oak Island, however, Justin Brochure has a Leland address and was arrested by Leland police. If the crimes had taken place in Leland, the Oak Island Police Department would not be the investigating agency.

The Oak Island Police Department would not release the initial incident report that ultimately led to that address, instead directing all questions to Edes. Edes was resistant to releasing the incident report with the address of the alleged crimes, even though state statute N.C.G.S. § 132-1.4(c) lists “The time, date, location, and nature of a violation or apparent violation of the law reported to a public law enforcement agency” as public record.

Edes protested, saying he would redact the address and other information from the report, and that he was prepared to defend that decision “in court.” Port City Daily then reached out to the Brunswick County District Attorney’s office and contacted the North Carolina Attorney General’s office to file a complaint with its Open Government Unit.

Scene of the crime

Assistant District Attorney Jason Minnicozzi, the prosecutor in the case against Brochure, initially was not able to provide Port City Daily with the address of the incident but after searching through his case files found and provided the information without hesitation.

“Homeland security first traced the IP address where the [child pornography] incident was taking place to 427 Womble St. in Oak Island,” Minnicozzi said.

Minnicozzi told Port City Daily Thursday that he was informed by Oak Island Police the address where the alleged crimes were committed was not the address of the mayor.

But Brunswick County records tell a different story.

Documents including a general warranty deed from 2015 show Cynthia Brochure and husband Joseph Brochure’s mailing address as 427 Womble Street.

Mayor Cin Brochure listed 427 Womble Street -- the address of where her son's alleged crimes were committed -- as her mailing address in a 2015 general warranty deed. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Brunswick County Register of Deeds)
Mayor Cin Brochure listed 427 Womble Street — the address of where her son’s alleged crimes were committed — as her mailing address in a 2015 general warranty deed. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Brunswick County Register of Deeds)

Further, 2018 Brunswick County Real Estate Tax records show the mailing address for Cynthia Brochure and her husband as 427 Womble St.

More Brunswick County Documents list Mayor Cin Brochure to the address where alleged child pornography charges stemmed from (Port City Daily/Courtesy Brunswick County)
More Brunswick County Documents list Mayor Cin Brochure to the address where alleged child pornography charges stemmed from (Port City Daily/Courtesy Brunswick County)

The investigation so far

According to warrants for her son’s arrest, the alleged criminal activity — duplicating sexually explicit visual material of minors — began in August of 2015. Justin Brochure’s alleged offenses continued until March 2017, one month after Homeland Security handed the case off to the town, an incident report shows.

Over a year later, on June 28, 2018, an Oak Island detective filed the first warrants for Brochure’s arrest. Brochure, 36, was charged with 31 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Warrants were served by the Brunswick County Sherriff’s Office and Brochure was arrested at his Leland residence by the Leland Police Department. Brochure’s bond was first set for $1 million but was later reduced to $100,000 his bond modification records show.

He posted bail, but was re-arrested five months later.

Warrants for Brochure’s second arrest, on Oct. 10 in New Hanover County, allege Brochure had been in contact with a minor, a violation of his pretrial release agreement. Brunswick County first housed Brochure on a $2 million secured bond. That bond but was later dropped to $50,000, according to Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office inmate records.

Days after Brochure’s re-arrest on Oct. 10, he no longer appeared on Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office’s inmate records.

Bailed out

Records indicate that Cin Brochure leveraged property to bail out her son (Port City Daily/Courtesy Brunswick County)
Records indicate that Cin Brochure leveraged property to bail out her son (Port City Daily/Courtesy Brunswick County)

Two Deeds of Trust, dated Oct. 17, show Cin Brochure leveraged her Oak Island property as collateral for her son’s release, according to the Brunswick County Register of Deeds.

Both documents, one for $50,000 and one for $100,000, are tied to Brochure’s property on 68th Street in Oak Island, and list Justin Brochure as the beneficiary.

No reply at all

At the time of publication, Cin Brochure has not responded to calls, voicemails and emails that specifically relate to new information that link her to her son’s alleged crimes. In addition, Brochure and all other Council members have also declined to respond to previous inquiries relating to her son’s arrest and the subsequent resignation of the town’s police chief and assistant police chief.

When asked to comment on information that links the mayor to her son’s alleged crimes, Brian Edes, the town’s attorney, wrote in an email, “It is my understanding that no one associated with subject investigation lives at that address any longer.”

In an email sent Thursday, Edes said he would try to get a “response by tomorrow morning, even if that response is ‘no response.'”

Justin Brochure was booked in the Brunswick County jail Tuesday morning after being indicted by a grand jury Monday on his previous charges. He remains incarcerated on a $100,000 bond. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Brunswick County Sheriff's Office)
Justin Brochure was booked in the Brunswick County jail Tuesday morning after being indicted by a grand jury Monday on his previous charges. He remains incarcerated on a $100,000 bond. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office)

Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee and Michael Praats at johanna@localvoicemedia.com and michael.p@localvoicemedia.com

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