Grand Island Man Sentenced to 52 Years for Conspiracy to Produce Child Pornography and Production of Child Pornography
United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that Matthew Retchless, 40, of Bellevue, Nebraska, was sentenced today in federal court in Omaha for receipt and distribution of child pornography. United States District Judge Brian C. Buescher sentenced Retchless to 96 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After his release from prison, he will begin a 5-year term of supervised release. Retchless will also be required to register as a sex offender when he completes his sentence of imprisonment.
In January and February of 2019, investigators received a series of Cyber Tips reporting online accounts (Kik and Tumblr) containing sexually explicit images of children. Some images had been uploaded to the accounts and shared. Based upon the information contained within the Cyber Tips, investigators were able to determine that the images had been uploaded from Retchless’s mobile home in Paradise Lakes (in Bellevue, Nebraska) prior to flooding that destroyed the trailer park in March of 2019.
On April 25, 2019, an investigator obtained a warrant to search the Microsoft account associated with Retchless’s email address. While reviewing mailbox data, the investigator observed email messages sent from Retchless’s email account to six external email addresses containing images of child pornography or child exploitation.
On July 7, 2020, investigators obtained a warrant to search defendant’s residence in Bellevue. Investigators seized defendant’s laptop and his cell phone, which yielded more images containing child pornography and child exploitative material. The forensic examination of the devices confirmed Retchless’s use of the online accounts to share the material with others during the charged timeframe. Law enforcement found more than 100 images and one video.
This 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 United States 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, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case was investigated by the Omaha FBI's Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, the Bellevue Police Department, and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.