News and Press Releases



January 7, 2014


Fort Smith, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Matthew Franklin, 27, was sentenced today to 84 months imprisonment with no parole and seven years of supervised release for receipt of child pornography. The sentencing took place before the Honorable P.K. Holmes III in United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas in Fort Smith.

U. S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “Victimizing innocent children is horrendous and inexcusable. Every time a video or image involving sexual abuse of children is downloaded or viewed, those children are re-victimized. We will continue to aggressively prosecute cases such as this and hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable.”

“Child pornographers frequently attempt to hide the evidence of their criminal actions from law enforcement,” said HSI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr. "This case shows that despite those attempts HSI investigators routinely are able to identify and seek prosecution of these dangerous individuals to make our communities a safer place for law-abiding citizens everywhere.” Parmer oversees a five-state region including Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

According to court records, on March 16, 2012, the Van Buren Police Department identified a computer that was offering to participate in sharing child pornography on the internet. The investigators executed a search warrant for the address and determined that Matthew Franklin resided at the residence and owned several computers. After being advised of his Miranda rights, Franklin admitted to downloading child pornography and having child pornography on his computer. Franklin’s computer and other digital media were seized as evidence. A subsequent forensic examination on the seized evidence revealed hundreds of videos and over 25,000 images depicting child pornography. Franklin pleaded guilty to one count of receiving child pornography on August 20, 2013.

This case was investigated by the Van Buren Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Allison Bragg prosecuted the case for the United States.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and their Criminal Division Child Exploitation and Obscenity Sections (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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