Former Nome police officer sentenced to over 3 years in prison for child pornography

Jul. 2—A Wasilla man who previously worked as a police officer in Nome and as a justice director for the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council was sentenced last week to spend 37 months in prison for possessing child pornography.

Matthew Schwier, 39, pleaded guilty last August to one federal charge of possessing child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason sentenced Schwier on Friday to serve 37 months in prison, followed by seven years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution.

Schwier was arrested in 2017 on federal charges. Case proceedings were delayed for years "for several reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic," a statement from U.S. State Attorney's District of Alaska office said. The FBI acted as investigators in the case.

The former police officer and owner of a computer repair business, possessed 10 videos and over 100 still images depicting child pornography on his home computer, including of infants and toddlers being abused, the federal plea agreement said.

Schwier attempted to use encryption to hide the files, according to a sentencing memo filed by assistant U.S. Attorney Jonas Walker.

Schwier's attorney, Robert Herz, requested a year, noting that Schwier had already spent over three years of home incarceration since his arrest in a sentencing memo.

Herz wrote in the memo that Schwier had not been previously convicted of any crime, and that his habit of indiscriminately downloading thousands of files of adult pornography to multiple devices indicated that Schwier may not have intended to keep or collect child pornography.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported Schwier was sentenced on possession and distribution charges. He pleaded guilty to possession. He also was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution, not $20,000.