Prison for Ala. man with child porn stash - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Prison for Ala. man with child porn stash

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

A former Montgomery attorney has been sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to having one of the largest child pornography collections ever discovered in Alabama.

Frederick Ball Matthews, former attorney at Ball, Ball and Matthews and former Board of Trustees member at Holy Cross Episcopal school, pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography charges in November, 2011. Matthews admitted that during a six month period in 2010, he used his computer and peer-to-peer file sharing software to knowingly distribute more than 600 child pornography images.

The investigation started back in early 2010 when the Department of Homeland Security, Assistant Attaché in Toronto, Canada received information from the Toronto Police Service about an internet account making thousands of child pornography images and videos available for download. Around the same time, the same account was snagged by independent undercover operations conducted by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Rochester, New York, and Miami, Florida. That account traced back to Matthews.

In June 2010, agents with Homeland Security Investigations executed a federal search warrant at Matthews' Montgomery residence. They seized two computers and numerous electronic storage devices. On those devices authorities found more than 200,000 images and 8,000 videos of child pornography. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, this is one of the largest collections ever prosecuted in Alabama.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reviewed Matthews' collection and was able to identify children depicted in more than 5,000 images and nearly 1,500 videos.

Investigators also discovered Matthews had hidden a camera in one of his bathrooms and used it on several occasions to record young men showering at his house. To date, HSI has been unable to determine the age or identity of the individuals in those videos.

Matthews' sentence includes 108 months in federal prison, a fine of $30,000 to be paid to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children or another appropriate children's charity, a fine of $15,000 to be paid to the U.S. District Court and a special assessment fee of $100.

Judge Myron Thompson, who handed down the sentence, also ordered that upon Matthews' release from prison, he is to serve his lifetime on supervised release. Matthews can never enter into a relationship without informing the other party of his conviction and that person can not have custody of any minor children.

Copyright 2012 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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