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Press Release

Canadian National Indicted in Washington D.C. on Charges of Distributing of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON – Matthew Norman Ballek, 31, of Saskatchewan, Canada, was taken into custody today following an indictment charging him with distribution of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Scott of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division, and Chief Pamela Smith of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            According to the indictment, unsealed today, on January 23, 2024, Ballek distributed three video files depicting adult males engaging in sexually explicit conduct with minors via a social media communication application.

            On January 23, 2024, a member of the MPD-FBI Child Exploitation Task Force was monitoring an online application in an undercover capacity. Law enforcement has come to learn that the application is used by some individuals who have a sexual interest in children. The undercover agent encountered Ballek, who sent a message believing he was communicating with a pedophile. Ballek later sent the undercover agent three video files depicting adult males sexually abusing minor children. On February 1, 2024, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Ballek with one count of distribution of child pornography. The case is assigned to the U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton.  

            Earlier today, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Ballek’s residence in the District of Columbia and took him into custody. Ballek will remain in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for Monday, February 12, 2024.

            Distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. The statutory sentences for federal offenses are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes. Any sentence will be determined by the Court based on the advisory Sentencing Guideline and other statutory factors.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Metropolitan Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Shinskie and Paul V. Courtney.

            An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated February 8, 2024

Topics
Project Safe Childhood
Cybercrime
Press Release Number: 24-109