BULLARD, Texas — UPDATE [Aug. 10] — Additional charges have been filed against an East Texas paramedic in an ongoing child pornography investigation, the Smith County Sheriff's Office announced this morning.
According to the Smith County Sheriff's Office, after further investigation, investigators uncovered evidence linking Clearman to additional images of child pornography. This morning, an arrest warrant was obtained and signed for an additional charge of possession or promotion of child pornography, a second-degree felony. Bond on the new charge was set at $250,000.
Clearman remains jailed at the Smith County Jail on bonds now totaling $750,000.
Investigators are asking for anyone who may have had children around Clearman to notify Smith County Sheriff’s Office Detective Audrey Lugo at (903) 566-6600.
"Please keep your children safe and carefully monitor all of their social media activity," read a statement from the sheriff's office this morning. "Also, be an integral part of your child’s life and ask questions. The Smith County Sheriff’s Office is committed to the safety and well-being of all citizen’s especially our most vulnerable."
ORIGINAL [Aug. 3] — An East Texas paramedic has been arrested on child pornography charges, police announced today.
Earlier this year, on April 14, 2020, the Smith County Sheriff's Office received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.That tip advised Smith County investigators that two files were uploaded by an Instagram user from an IP address beloning to 43-year-old Matthew Clearman of Lindale, Texas.
Those files depicted an adult male wearing firefighter bunker gear and a firefighter helmet, and separately, an image depicting child pornography and lewd visual material depicting children.
Smith County Sheriff's Office investigators identified a Facebook profile for Clearman which depicted a profile picture of the same male subject on the Instagram account wearing firefighter gear.
On June 12, 2020, investigators obtained a search warrant for Clearman's Instagram account and, on June 20, received records from Instagram, including 88 media files.
"Investigators recovered multiple photos and one video depicting child pornography and lewd visual material depicting a child," read a statement from the Smith County Sheriff's Office. "The visual material depicted minors engaging in sexual conduct, sexual contact, sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse and lewd exhibition of the genitals. Some of the children depicted in the images appeared to be between the ages of 7 and 16 years of age."
Investigators, according to the sheriff's office, also recovered text messages between Clearman and other subjects concerning the dissemination of child pornographic images.
On July 30, 2020, a search warrant was granted for Clearman's residence, located in the 16000 block of Rolling Meadows in Lindale, Texas. There, investigators recovered several multimedia devices which, upon subsequent search, revealed hundreds of images of child pornography.
The following day, July 31, 2020, an arrest warrant was issued for Clearman's arrest for the offense of possession or promotion of child pornography, a second-degree felony.
Clearman was arrested on August 1, 2020, at the Bullard Fire Station in Bullard, Texas, by members of the Smith County Sheriff's Office and the Bullard Police Department.
According to the Bullard Fire Department, Clearman is not associated with the fire department, has not been a firefighter for the department, and works for a local EMS company in Bullard.
Clearman was transported to the Smith County Jail where he is being held on a $500,000 bond.
A request for comment and Clearman's current status with the Bullard Fire Department was made by MyTexasDaily.com.