FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A former resident of Merced was sentenced on Wednesday for two convictions of sexual exploitation of a minor, according to the Department of Justice.

According to court documents, Matthew Sheffield, 41, of Merced, was sentenced to 60 years in prison. This is to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release. In addition, he has been ordered to pay $100,200 in special assessments and $25,000 in restitution to each of the two victims.

Officials say law enforcement agents first encountered sexually explicit material in February 2018. Through investigative work and assistance from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, they were able to identify Sheffield as the person responsible for creating and distributing the material on the internet. While executing the search warrant at Sheffield’s house, agents recognized unique objects that were depicted in the images he created.

On Aug. 29, 2019, officials say Sheffield was indicted and on March 21, 2022, he pled guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of children. This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation office in Fresno and the FBI Child Exploitation Operational Unit in Linthicum, Maryland.