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Press Release

Two Individuals Indicted for Child Pornography Charges Under Project Safe Childhood Initiative

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


Jackson, TN – On September 26, 2019, a federal grand jury in Memphis indicted John Sanderson, 36 of Dyersburg, Tennessee and Matthew Berry, 40, of Bells, Tennessee for child pornography violations. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the indictments today.

As charged in the indictments, Sanderson was charged with producing child pornography (18 USC 2251) and possessing child pornography (18 USC 2252). Sanderson was first arrested in Dyer County on a complaint on August 29, 2019. He faces 15-30 years in custody if convicted of production, and up to 20 years if convicted for possession. Investigators are seeking information that can assist in the identification of minor victims. Please contact the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force in Jackson, Tennessee, if you may have information about the sexual exploitation of minors.

The grand jury also returned an indictment charging Matthew Berry with receipt and possession of child pornography. According to facts presented at a detention hearing in federal district court in Jackson, Tennessee, on September 20, 2019, Berry used peer-to-peer software to view images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Berry was a Crockett County employee at the time the alleged conduct occurred. The Crockett County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI are investigating this case.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: "With new and ever-changing technology, offenders are finding new and increasingly disturbing ways to victimize and exploit child victims. These cases demonstrate that no matter where offenders are located, our Project Safe Childhood Initiative and FBI partners will find them and hold them accountable for internet crimes against children."

Both of these cases are being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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, PSC 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 PSC, please visit For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

These cases are being prosecuted by the Eastern Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office on behalf of the government.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Updated September 27, 2019