SAN ANTONIO – A federal judge today sentenced 63-year-old Michael Dewayne Sheeds to 50 years in federal prison followed by 20 years of supervised release for the production and possession of child pornography.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra ordered Sheeds to pay $100,000 in restitution to each of the two victims and pay two $5,000 assessments per the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.
Sheeds was arrested in Laredo on January 7, 2019, on an arrest warrant from Bandera County Sheriff’s Office. A Samsung Galaxy phone was seized from him. A forensic data extraction from the phone showed it contained images and videos depicting the sexual assault of children, including child abuse images and videos Sheeds produced.
“The defendant’s abuse forever altered his victims’ lives and was only discovered when one of them bravely preserved evidence of his horrific conduct,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “I am convinced the action undertaken by this victim prevented additional harm. While the impact to the victims in this case can never be undone, my hope is that the lengthy prison sentence assists in their healing process while serving to further protect our community.”
On January 6, 2020, the Bandera resident pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Sheeds has remained in custody since his arrest on January 7, 2019.
“Today’s sentencing sends a strong message to those who would harm the children of our community,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs. “For years, the defendant in this case committed despicable and heinous acts. Thanks to the exemplary efforts of the Bandera County Sheriff’s Office, he will finally be held accountable for his actions. The FBI is committed to preventing violent crimes against children and to bring those who harm them to justice. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and use every investigative tool to protect the public from acts of violence.”
This investigation was initiated by the Bandera County Sheriff’s Office and then proceeded as a joint investigation with the San Antonio FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Thompson prosecuted this case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.