Indian River County Resident Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Producing Child Pornography
Matthew Vaughn Hawks, 29, of Vero Beach, Florida, was sentenced on May 16, 2017, by United States District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks to 360 months in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, after previously pleading guilty to three counts of producing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Deryl Loar, Sheriff, Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, and James Stuart, Sheriff, Anoka County, Minnesota, Sheriff’s Office, made the announcement.
According to the court record, Hawks was on probation for making a false bomb threat in Indian River County, Florida, when he began communicating over the internet with multiple female children. Over a period of three months, Hawks cultivated an increasingly personal online relationship with the children. He began soliciting sexually explicit photographs from the minors and sent them sexually explicit images of himself. Hawks then requested increasingly explicit photographs. When some of the children resisted, Hawks threatened to post images of them on the internet if they did not comply with his demands. Hawks’ victims were located in Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Texas, and Florida.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Butler and Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Funk.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.