ABINGDON, Va. – A Lebanon, Virginia man pleaded guilty today to using the online messaging application KIK to distribute images of child pornography to undercover law enforcement officers.
According to court documents, Matthew Thompson, 40, used KIK, an application where individuals create usernames and can send messages online, to communicate with others he believed to be interested in trading images of child pornography.
In June 2020, undercover law enforcement officers located in Wisconsin identified Thompson’s KIK username, “gbrown20201,” as being responsible for distributing child pornography by posting such materials onto a KIK chatroom messaging board frequented by individuals interested in child pornography images.
In July 2020, law enforcement officials in Texas identified the “gbrown20201” username as being an active member of two known child pornography chatgroups and serving as an administrator for one of the groups. The Texas investigation revealed that Thompson distributed at least nine images of child pornography between the dates of July 24, 2020, and July 31, 2020, and received additional child pornography materials.
Thompson pleaded guilty to one count of knowingly distributing one or more visual depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct that has been mailed or transported in interstate or foreign commerce. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 29, 2021 and faces an agreed upon sentence of between 60 to 72 months in prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Virginia State Police, and Russell County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lena Busscher is prosecuting the case.