Warning: Some details in this story may be graphic to some readers.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Matthew Ray Lawson, 34, was sentenced January 19 to 50 years in prison and ordered to pay $30,000.00 collectively in fines and restitution on three counts of Possession of Child Pornography, four counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse in Indian Country, one count of Lewd Acts with a Child in Indian Country and one count of Production of Child Pornography.

Judge Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearing in the U.S. District Court in Fayetteville. According to a court documents, in September of 2019, the Springdale Police Department was contacted by employees of a Northwest Arkansas towing company, who stated that a vehicle belonging to Lawson was impounded and a thumb drive found in the vehicle appeared to contain child sexual abuse images.

A subsequent investigation by both the Springdale Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations, Fayetteville Division, led to the execution of a search warrant on Lawson’s Springdale, Ark. residence and the seize of multiple electronic devices, including a laptop computer.

A forensic examination conducted by Homeland Security of Lawson’s laptop computer revealed approximately 900 videos and over 240 images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Included within these images, were multiple videos of Lawson, sexually abusing an approximately 6-year-old male. Homeland Security ultimately identified the minor, who was determined to reside with his family outside of Tulsa, Okla.

An investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, Tulsa Division, revealed that Lawson had previously resided with the minor victim’s family when he produced the child sexual abuse images, and, during the same timeframe, sexually abused an approximately 3-year-old female.

Lawson was initially charged in federal court in the Western District of Arkansas with two counts of Possession of Child Pornography. He was separately charged in federal court in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, with multiple offenses related to the sexual abuse of two minor victims.

In June of 2021, the Oklahoma charges were transferred to Arkansas where Lawson entered guilty pleas to all charges pending against him in each respective state.

The Springdale Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, Fayetteville, Arkansas Division, and Homeland Security Investigations, Tulsa, Oklahoma Division, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Roberts prosecuted the case for the Western District of Arkansas and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah McAmis prosecuted the case for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, 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 identify and rescue victims.