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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nebraska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 21, 2021

Grand Jury Indicts Lincoln Man for Receiving Child Pornography

Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that the Grand Jury in the District of Nebraska has returned a two-count indictment against Matt Tibbels, 58, of Lincoln.  The Indictment charges Tibbels with committing child exploitation crimes between August 31, 2020 and October 5, 2021.

The first count of the Indictment charges the receipt of child pornography.  This offense is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of 5 years’ and a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and a special assessment of up to $35,000.  After release from any imprisonment, Tibbels would be subject to a term of supervised release of not less than five years and up to life.  The second count charges Tibbels with possession child pornography.  This count is punishable by a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not less than five years and up to life, and a special assessment of up to $17,000.

Tibbels’ next court appearance has not yet been scheduled. A preliminary examination will not be held as the Grand Jury has found of probable cause in returning the Indictment.  A finding of probable cause is not a finding of guilt and Tibbels is presumed innocent of these charges.

Acting United States Attorney Sharp expressed his appreciation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their quick actions in obtaining a criminal complaint and search warrant immediately upon receiving notification of the daycare being operated out of Tibbels’s home.

FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel said, “There are few crimes more heinous than the sexual exploitation of children. Protecting vulnerable children from those who traffic in child sexual abuse material will always be a priority for FBI Omaha and our Crimes Against Children Task Force. The FBI will continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners to rapidly investigate cases to protect these most innocent of victims.”  

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 Attorneys’ 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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated October 25, 2021