Second "Candyman" Defendant Appears in Court
Las Vegas, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, and Grant Ashley, Special-Agent-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for Nevada, announce that Matthew Shawn McMullen, age 41, of Las Vegas, Nevada, surrendered himself to authorities today and made an initial appearance in court before a United States Magistrate Judge in Las Vegas. McMullen was indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas on March 13, 2002, and charged with Receipt of Child Pornography, Possession of Child Pornography, and Criminal Forfeiture. The Indictment was sealed until McMullen appeared in court today. McMullen is employed in maintenance at a Las Vegas apartment complex.
McMullen is the second defendant to be named in Nevada as part of the Operation Candyman take-down which began earlier this week. The other defendant, Beckham Baker, was arraigned on February 15, 2002, and released on bond with special conditions and under the supervision of the United States Pretrial Services Office. Baker's trial is currently set for June17, 2002.
"Operation Candyman," named after its Egroup Uniform Resource Locator, (URL), www.egroups.com/groups/thecandyman, was a year-long undercover operation conducted by the FBI's Houston Child Exploitation Task Force and the United States Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Texas. Egroups, maintained by Yahoo, allow individuals to correspond with like-minded persons via email, chat, bulletin boards, and file transfers. The Candyman Egroup allowed collectors and distributors of child pornography to use online resources to retrieve and distribute child pornography.
All 56 FBI field offices, nearly every U.S. Attorney's Office in the country, and the Department of Justice's Criminal Division, through its Child Exploitation & Obscenity Section, have participated extensively in this investigation in an effort to identify members of the Candyman Egroup, and will continue to investigate vigilantly until all identified perpetrators have been successfully arrested and prosecuted. In addition to the Candyman Egroup, the FBI identified and initiated investigations into other Egroups, which facilitate the distribution, production and exchange of child pornography. It is estimated there were over 7,000 members of the Candyman Egroup, approximately 2400 of whom reside in foreign countries.
The cases in Nevada are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy J. Davis. The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.