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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 2, 2018

El Reno Man Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Possessing Child Pornography

OKLAHOMA CITY – MATTHEW EDWARD HARMS, 39, of El Reno, Oklahoma, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for possessing child pornography, announced Robert J. Troester, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. 

On February 2, 2016, Harms was indicted on one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.  According to the charges, he used the Internet to receive child pornography and also possessed pornography involving a minor under the age of twelve engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

On February 22, 2017, Harms pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.  In particular, he admitted he had downloaded child pornography from the Internet onto one or more personal computing devices seized at his home by the FBI.  He reserved his right to withdraw his guilty plea pending the result of a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, United States v. Workman.  That case involved the same multi-state FBI undercover operation that had ensnared Harms.  On July 21, 2017, the Tenth Circuit ruled in favor of the United States in Workman.

On April 2, 2018, U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange sentenced Harms to 30 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.  As part of the sentence, he must pay $3,000 in restitution to one of the victims identified in the child pornography he possessed.  He was also ordered to forfeit the electronic devices involved in the offense.

This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia E. Barry.  It is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Department of Justice, 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.justice.gov/psc.

Reference is made to the indictment and other public filings for further information.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated April 3, 2018