New details after mayor’s son walks free in child porn plea deal

Reporter Johanna Ferebee of Port City Daily talks about in-depth investigative story

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (PORT CITY DAILY) - In June of 2018, Justin Brochure, son of Oak Island Mayor Cin Brochure, was arrested on dozens of child pornography charges. His $1 million bond was reduced and he was released on several conditions including that he have no contact with minors.

Several months later, he was arrested again on new charges, including violating the terms of his pre-trial release. His bond was set at $2 million. During a hearing in Brunswick County court, Brochure’s girlfriend testified that he had not been anywhere near her two minor children. Based on her testimony, Brochure’s bond was lowered from $2 million to $50,000.

But video evidence, and eye witness testimony, shows that Brochure’s girlfriend lied.

In fact, Brochure appeared on a local television news broadcast in Garrett, Indiana, where he traveled in September of 2018 to escape Hurricane Florence – along with his girlfriend and her two children. Further, multiple eye witnesses, including the children’s grandmother, provided statements to the Oak Island Police Department confirming that the two children were living with Brochure in his Leland apartment.

This evidence, including video of footage of Brochure with children, was provided by police to the District Attorney’s office. One prosecutor said Brochure had shown “complete disregard” for the court order prohibiting him from having contact with children. Despite that, neither Brochure nor his girlfriend were charged with perjury, obstruction of justice, or any other crime related to the false testimony given in court. And, in May of this year, Brochure was still able to arrange a plea deal that let him walk free.

The sentence is a stark contrast with other child pornography cases, including the recent sentencing of 27-year-old Brenan West, who will serve at least 10 years in prison, despite facing fewer chargers than Brochure.

Brunswick County Assistant District Attorney Jason Minnicozzi, who prosecuted both cases, addressed the differences between the two cases, saying that West fell into a more dangerous category of child pornography users, while Brochure didn’t.

Meanwhile, Laura Dutterer, the mother of a boy known to have been in Brochure’s company while he was out on bail, said the system is broken. She also expressed concerns about how Brochure’s mother’s role as mayor may have impacted the investigation.

While Brochure’s plea bargain officially closed the case, questions remain. Dutterer said she’s not alone in asking questions about the investigation, which included a number of unusual events.

Those include the town attorney’s efforts to block the release of public documents, which indicated that the Homeland Security investigation that ended in Brochure’s arrest focused on a residence owned by his mother, the mayor. When Port City daily requested the police report, the town attorney threatened to go to court, and tried to redact the mayor’s address from the police report, but ultimately relented.

And, during the course of Oak Island’s investigation into Brochure, two top law enforcement officials including the chief of police resigned. At the same time, the lead detective on the case was reassigned to a different role, apparently at her own request. While the town ultimately issued a statement saying the resignations and reassignments were unrelated to Brochure’s case, the mayor has never publicly addressed the issue.

Tuesday on WECT, Port City Daily reporter Johanna Ferebee will sit down with Jon Evans to discuss her investigation and findings in this case. Click here to read her full report now: http://bit.ly/31nFLAz

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