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Press Release

Lincoln Man Sentenced to 21 1/2 Years in Prison for Production of Child Pornography

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

Acting United States Attorney Steven Russell announced that Matt Tibbels, 59, of Lincoln, Nebraska, was sentenced today in Lincoln by United States District Judge John M. Gerrard for production of child pornography. Tibbels was sentenced to 21 1/2 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system. Tibbels was additionally ordered to pay $29,000 which will contribute to funds established for victims of these types of cases.

This case began as a part of a Freenet peer-to-peer investigation by the FBI concerning a Freenet user who was receiving child pornography. The FBI traced IP addresses associated with the investigation to Tibbels’s residence. The residence was also operated as an in-home daycare. On October 5, 2021, a search warrant was executed where multiple devices were seized. A forensic examination of the devices revealed a total of 887 child pornography image files and 147 child pornography video files. While reviewing other electronic devices seized, FBI agents observed a video and seven images that depicted a child changing clothes in the main bedroom of the Tibbels’ family home. This child was positively identified as a child who had attended that daycare.

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

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated August 8, 2022

Project Safe Childhood