April 19, 2021

Former local school administrator arrested for soliciting minor for sex

Was assistant principal at East Alexander MS in last half of 2016

Lincolnton Police officers have arrested a former Alexander County Schools assistant principal for soliciting a child for sex, along with several other suspects.
As of Wednesday, March 28, 2017, detectives with the Lincolnton Police Department had arrested numerous offenders, after a 3-month-long undercover operation, according to a press release from the agency. The operation involved undercover detectives portraying a child on various social media outlets.

Among those arrested was Blane Fitzgerald Gregory, of Spruce Pine, NC, who was charged with soliciting a minor and appearing. He was placed under a $50,000 bond.

Blane Fitzgerald Gregory

Alexander County Schools Public Information Director Renee Meade confirmed that Blane Gregory was hired in July 2016 by Alexander County Schools and employed through January 2017, when he resigned to take a position with Newton-Conover City Schools.

According to multiple media reports, Gregory was employed with Newton-Conover City Schools until the time of his arrest.

Other suspects arrested

Other individuals arrested include:
• Matthew Johnathon Morrison, of Charlotte, charged with Soliciting a Minor and Appearing, Disseminate obscene material to a minor, $50,000 bond.
• Jeffrey Alan Churchwell, Charlotte, charged with Soliciting a minor and appearing, Disseminate obscene material to a minor, and 3rd degree sexual exploitation of a minor, $250,000 bond.
• Michael John Seidle, of Denver, NC, charged with Soliciting a Minor and Appearing, $25,000 bond.
• Paul Robert Icenhour, II, of Granite Falls, charged with Soliciting a Minor and Appear and Disseminate obscene material to a minor, $50,000 bond.
• George Alan Kanupp, of Maiden, charged with Soliciting a Minor and Appearing, $50,000 bond.
• Brent Robert Odenheimer, of Lincolnton, charged with Soliciting a Minor and Appearing and Disseminate obscene material to a minor, $150,000 bond.
• Matthew Ryan Ellis, of McConnells, SC, charged with Soliciting a Minor and Appear and Disseminate obscene material to a minor, $100,000 bond.

How the suspects were caught

During the operation, detectives developed a dialogue in which an agreement was made for offenders to meet the child in Lincolnton in order to have an unlawful sexual relationship. The offenders arrived to the pre-determined location to meet the child, where they were then arrested without incident.

Detectives charged all of the offenders with one count of solicit a child for an unlawful sex act by a computer and appearing to meet such child, along with other charges listed below.
All of the offenders were transported to the Lincoln County Magistrate’s Office where they were given a secured bond for their charges. They were then placed in the Lincoln County Jail.
The lead detective in this case is Det. Brent Heavner, with Lt. Jason Munday, Sgt. Dennis Harris, Det. Brandon Hunsucker and Det. Tony Potts assisting, the press release stated.

“All resources available will be utilized in an effort to locate and identify if there are any potential victims as it relates to these specific offenders,” said Lt. Jason Munday of the Lincolnton Police Department. “The main goal is to deter this type of behavior on line and identify any other potential victims in an effort to provide services as needed and to develop any other potential charges towards any of these offenders associated with any of these cases.”

If anyone can provide any information about any of these offenders or these cases or any other possible victims as it relates to these offenders please contact Det. Brent Heavner of the Lincolnton Police Department at (704) 736-8900.

This case is still active and additional charges are possible.

If anyone has any information about this case or any other criminal or narcotics cases, please contact the Lincolnton Police Department at (704) 736-8900 or contact the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Crimestoppers at (704) 736-8909. All calls made to Crimestoppers can be made anonymously and the caller is eligible for up to a $1,000 reward if the information provided leads to an arrest.

If anyone has any questions about this case, please contact Det. Brent Heavner of the Lincolnton Police Department at (704) 736-8900.

Leave a Comment