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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 30, 2017

St. Cloud Recidivist Sentenced To More Than 21 Years For Advertisement Of Child Pornography On Twitter

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza has sentenced Matthew Allen Hayes (35, Osceola County) to more than 21 years and 10 months in federal prison for advertisement of child pornography. He pleaded guilty on September 15, 2016.

According to court documents, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) began investigating Hayes after learning that he had advertised an interest in child pornography and had posted an image of child pornography on his Twitter page. On April 7, 2016, OCSO deputies executed a state search warrant at Hayes’s residence, where they located a cellphone with at least 100 videos containing child pornography, many depicting children under the age of 12. During an interview, Hayes admitted that he had posted the advertisement on Twitter, along with the image containing child pornography. He also admitted that he had been downloading, sharing, and viewing child pornography on various networks since his release from prison on October 24, 2015. When Hayes committed this offense, he was on supervised release following convictions in Manatee County on October 2, 2013, for armed burglary with a firearm and four counts of burglary of an occupied structure.

“Child pornography, when it’s released on the Internet, lives on forever,” said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. “It haunts the innocent children whose abuse is depicted in the images, and brings unspeakable pain to their parents and families. HSI will continue to work closely with law enforcement partners, like the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, to ensure that those who sexually exploit our children are brought to justice.”

This case was investigated by OCSO and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Christina R. Downes, on assignment from the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, ICE.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated January 30, 2017