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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Vandalia Man Pleads Guilty to Distribution of Child Pornography

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Bradley L. Matthews, 39, of Vandalia, Illinois, entered a plea of guilty to 
distribution of child pornography on November 2, 2021, in federal court in East St. Louis, 
Illinois.

According to court documents, Matthews came to the attention of law enforcement in February 2019   
during   an   FBI  undercover   internet   investigation   of   child   pornography.   During   the 
investigation, an undercover officer engaged in a conversation with Matthews during which he sent 
the undercover officer three videos depicting child pornography.

In an interview with law enforcement on September 5, 2019, Matthews admitted distributing child 
pornography. When shown the printout of the conversation with the undercover officer that took 
place on February 5, 2019, Matthews identified himself as the person in the profile picture and 
admitted that he was the person who had engaged in the conversation with the undercover officer and 
distributed the child pornography videos.

Matthews  faces  a  mandatory  minimum  sentence  of  5  years  but  not  more  than  20  years 
imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000 and the possibility of a lifetime term of supervised 
release.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 24, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. in East St. Louis.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 
2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and  
abuse.  Led  by  the  United  States  Attorneys’  Offices  and  the  Criminal  Division’s  Child 
Exploitation  and  Obscenity  Section,  Project  Safe  Childhood  marshals  federal,  state,  and  
local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and 
to identify  and  rescue  victims.  For  more  information  about  Project  Safe  Childhood,  
please  visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.   For   more   information   about   internet   safety   
education,   please   visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

The case was investigated by FBI Springfield Division.   Assistant United States Attorney Angela
Scott is prosecuting the case.
 

Updated November 3, 2021