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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 26, 2021

Former Law Enforcement Officer Sentenced to Over 18 Years in Federal Prison for Child Exploitation Offenses

 

Memphis, TN – Matthew Berry, 42, of Eads, Tennessee has been sentenced to 220 months in federal prison for child exploitation offenses. Acting United States Attorney, Joseph C. Murphy, Jr., announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, on June 25, 2019, an undercover operative with the Michigan City (Indiana) Police Department who was investigating child exploitation found a computer that was making child sexual abuse material (CSAM) available over the internet. Based on the IP address, the officer determined the computer was in the Western District of Tennessee and alerted the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force.

A search warrant was executed at the Bells, Tennessee, residence of Matthew Berry, who was at the time, a Crockett County Sheriff’s Deputy. Berry admitted to investigators that he had been obtaining and viewing child sexual abuse material for "a long time." Forensic examination of Berry’s digital devices confirmed that Berry had been seeking out CSAM since at least 2002. The investigation also revealed that Berry surreptitiously took photographs of the buttocks of females (adults and minors) in public places and had a sexual relationship with a minor during his time as a law enforcement officer. Berry previously worked as an officer in Halls, Ripley, Maury City, and Brownsville.

The FBI Child Exploitation Task Force, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Crockett County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan City (Indiana) Police Department investigated this case.

On April 23, 2021, Chief U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson sentenced Berry to 220 months in federal prison to be followed by five years’ supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra L. Ireland prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

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Updated April 26, 2021