Fort Worth, Texas - A former high school teacher in North Texas pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of producing child pornography.
This guilty plea was announced U.S. Attorney John Parker, Northern District of Texas. This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Tarrant County (Texas) District Attorney’s Office, and the Macomb County (Michigan) Sheriff’s Office.
Matthew Anthony Keller, 24, of Watauga, Texas, faces a statutory penalty of not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Keller has been in custody since his arrest in July 2016 on a related federal complaint. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2, 2017, by U.S. District Judge Terry R Means. A according to police reports, Keller taught at Southwest High School in Fort Worth, Texas.
According to documents filed in the case, this investigation began when a parent of a 15-year-old child (MV1) discovered a relationship between MV1 and Keller and notified a police department in Macomb County, Michigan. The parent was further concerned because it was discovered that Keller planned to fly from Texas to Michigan and possibly meet with MV1 for a sexual encounter.
When a search warrant was conducted at Keller’s residence in Watauga, law enforcement seized a computer from his bedroom. A forensic analysis of that computer revealed the presence of a sexually explicit video of the minor victim.
Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem, Northern District of Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.
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 14,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.