A 46-year-old Conover man was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in federal prison Thursday (Dec. 17th) for possession and distribution of child pornography.
US District Court Judge Kenneth Bell sentenced Darren Eugene Matthews to 78 months; he will also serve a lifetime of supervised release and have to register as a sex offender upon completion of his prison term.
Matthews pleaded guilty to the charges in August.
In November 2019, a detective with the Catawba County Sheriff's Office received information that an individual, later identified as Matthews, was emailing child pornography over the internet. Court records show that some of the images depicted children, some as young as toddlers, being sexually abused. On November 22nd of last year, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Matthews' residence and seized numerous electronic devices. A forensic examination of the devices revealed that Matthews possessed more than 1,300 files of child pornography.