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Press Release

Piedmont Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for Possession and Production of Child Pornography

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

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.  – A federal judge today sentenced a Piedmont man for possession and production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr., and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger.

U.S. District Court Judge R. David Proctor sentenced Matthew Allan Smyth, 37, to 600 months in prison followed by 120 months of supervised release.  Smyth pleaded guilty in December 2020 to one count of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.  This conviction will require him to register as a sex offender in accordance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). 

According to the plea agreement, Smyth admitted that he enticed a minor victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography between November 2016 and January 2018.  On  March 27, 2018,  electronic devices seized from Smyth pursuant to a search warrant were received by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations for forensic examination. The forensic review of the devices revealed a total of 15 pornographic videos and 161 pornographic images of the minor victim. All the videos and images were produced by Smyth.

“Today’s sentence sends a strong message to all other sexual predators,”  USA Escalona said.  “Smyth stole the innocence of this young child.  Children are our most vulnerable victims, and my office will do everything in our power to seek justice for them.”  

These crimes are disgusting, and our investigators will remain ever vigilant in protecting victims,” SAC Sharp said.  “Thank you to the collaborative efforts of our state and local law enforcement partners to remove yet another child predator from our community.”

“This sentence ensures that Smyth will not be able to hurt anyone else with his filth and the community can rest a little easier in that knowledge,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama.

FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case, along with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Piedmont Police Department, and the Oxford Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Leann White prosecuted the case.

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

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) also encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) 347-2423.  Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls.  Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online by visiting their website at or through the Operation Predator smartphone application  Tips may be submitted anonymously.



Updated July 8, 2021

Project Safe Childhood