Smith County Officials: Paramedic caught with hundreds of child porn images

Smith County Officials: Paramedic caught with hundreds of child porn images

Editor’s note: The Smith County Sheriff’s Office initially reported Matthew Clearman was employed with the Bullard Fire Department.

SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Smith County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Bullard police officers arrested a paramedic on a child pornography charge at the town’s fire station on Saturday.

WEBXTRA: Smith County Officials: Paramedic caught with hundreds of child porn images

The arrest came after SCSO investigators executed a search warrant and allegedly found hundreds of child pornography images on multi-media devices at his home.

Matthew Tyler Clearman, 43, of Lindale, was arrested and charged with second-degree felony possession or promotion of child pornography. His bond amount was set at $500,000.

According to a press release, SCSO investigators received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on April 14. The cyber tip stated that two files were uploaded to Instagram from a user with a know IP address, and further investigation revealed that the IP address belonged to Clearman.

The cyber tip also included two photos, the press release stated. One was of a man wearing firefighter bunker gear and a fire helmet. The other photo allegedly depicted child pornography.

“Investigators located a Facebook page for Matthew Clearman and observed his ‘profile picture’ as the same photograph of the male subject wearing the firefighter gear.,” the press release stated.

On June 12, Smith County Sheriff’s Office investigators asked Judge Christi Kennedy of the 114th Judicial District Court for a search warrant for Clearman’s Instagram account, and she issued the warrant. Eight days later, SCSO investigators received the records from Instagram, including 88 media files.

“Investigators recovered multiple photos and one video depicting child pornography and lewd visual material depicting a child,” the press release stated.

According to the press release, some of the children depicted in the images appeared to be between 7 and 16 years old. SCSO investigators also allegedly recovered text messages between Clearman and other people about the dissemination of child pornography.

Then on July 30, Judge Kerry Russell with the 7th Judicial District Court issued a search warrant for Clearman’s home, which is located in the 16000 block of Rolling Meadows in Lindale.

“Investigators conducted a search of the residence and recovered several multi-media devices,” the press release stated. “A subsequent search of these devices revealed hundreds of images of child pornography.”

“Initially reported to us was two photographs, one of the suspect and one of apparent child pornography,” said Craig Halbrooks, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office sergeant in charge of the case. “When we executed a search warrant on the social media account we recovered hundreds of child pornography images and videos and subsequently we served a search warrant on electronic devices and recovered upwards of a thousand images and videos.”

After investigators presented an arrest affidavit to County Court-at-law Judge Taylor Heaton, he issued an arrest warrant for Clearman.

SCSO deputies and Bullard PD officers arrested Clearman at the Bullard Fire Station on Saturday. He was then taken to the Smith County Jail.

“I can say there are involvements in other cases we have uncovered,” said Halbrooks, not able to give further information because the investigation is still on-going.

Larry Christian, a spokesman for the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed that Clearman is a paramedic with CHRISTUS. The chief of the Bullard Fire Department said Clearman does not work for that agency.

Statement from CHRISTUS EMS:

We were recently contacted to support law enforcement in the arrest of Matt Clearman related to activities that occurred away from and unrelated to his work. A preliminary review indicates that no patients are in any way involved, and the individual has been placed on unpaid leave. We continue to cooperate fully with the authorities, and we will keep all who may have been victimized in our prayers.

“We have not been able to determine if county equipment, or Christus health equipment, or any other equipment — aside from his own personal equipment — was utilized in this,” said Halbrooks.

The Smith County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who may have been around Clearman, or had children around Clearman to speak with them.

“If anybody believes they may be a victim, or have been victimized by this Matthew Clearman, come forward and speak to us,” said Halbrooks.

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