According to arrest warrants, Phelps duplicated computer video files of boys between the ages of 8 and 14 performing sex acts on each other.
He is being held under a $750,000 bond.
Police say they are still trying to figure out if Phelps had a hand in actually making the videos, but couldn't wait any longer to arrest him when they found he was recently staying at a Cary motel several miles from his apartment.
"It looks like Mr. Phelps had the idea of leaving the area to avoid prosecution," said Captain Michael Williams with the Cary Police Department.
Williams said Phelps isn't the only person being looked at a new unit in his department that looks for child pornographers online.
"We track the files where they are trading to where they are going. And it could be us knocking at your door," he offered.