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March 4, 2021El Paso, TX, United StatesChild Exploitation

HSI El Paso arrests man on child pornography charges

EL PASO, Texas – Special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested a local man Tuesday evening and charged him with possessing, receiving, and distributing material involving the sexual exploitation of children.

Jason Wesley Matthews, 45, was arrested at his home in the 3500 block of Proud Eagle Way after HSI special agents executed federal search warrants at his residence. The Texas Department of Public Safety assisted in the case.

A preliminary forensic review of a computer and other devices seized revealed images of child exploitation.  According to court documents, the files included images of children, as young as toddlers, engaged in various sexual acts and torture.

“Innocent children are irreparably harmed in the production of child pornography, and individuals who distribute such revolting material continue to victimize them,” said Erik P. Breitzke, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso. “Protecting the most innocent members of our society is a top priority for HSI and we will not relent in our efforts to take child predators off our streets by putting them where they belong - behind bars.”

On Wednesday, Matthews had an initial hearing in U.S. District Court. A preliminary and detention hearing is set for Monday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Hanna is prosecuting the case.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 25,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors and sex trafficking of children.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

For more information about HSI’s efforts to protect children from online sexual abuse, visit ice.gov/topics/iGuardians.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS and a vital U.S. asset in combatting transnational crime and threats. One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission set. HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify and apprehend offenders, prevent transnational child sexual abuse, and help make the internet a safer place for children.

Updated: 03/05/2021