Judge imposes conditions after search warrant executed.
TULSA – Evidence discovered after a federally issued search warrant was executed brought a detention motion from federal prosecutors in the case against Thomas Mathews in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Oklahoma in Tulsa.
According to court records, in a motion detention hearing on Jan. 11, Federal Judge Frank H. McCarthy ruled Mathews is to remain free on an unsecured bond while he faces a federal criminal charge of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sex.
McCarthy did impose certain rules and conditions including that Mathews is to have no contact with minor children, including his own children, he is confined to his home and under the custody of his parents, no travel unless permitted by probation officers, allowed no Internet access, and the surrender of his smartphone. Mathews will be allowed to have an approved flip-phone.
According to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Oklahoma in Tulsa on Dec. 14, 2017 to obtain the search warrant, Homeland Security Investigator John W. Perez requested the warrant for a search of a black 2014 Nissan Titan four-door pickup truck with a Quapaw Tribal license plate alleged to be a vehicle driven by Mathews.
The warrant was requested based on information uncovered by the Miami Police Department in an ongoing investigation.
The background on the investigation referred to in the affidavit states in August of 2017 Mathews was the focus of an undercover MPD investigation alleging he attempted to meet with the intention to engage in sexual activity with a 13-year-old.
Mathews used the “Whisper” phone app to make contact with the undercover detective posing as an underage female.
Mathews 35, of Miami, was formally indicted for one count of Attempted Enticement of a Minor by a Grand Jury in the Northern District of Oklahoma on Nov. 6, 2017, and was subsequently released on his own recognizance after a $25,000 bond was set by Magistrate Judge McCarthy.
Mathews has retained Tulsa attorney Ryan A. Ray with Norman, Wohlgemuth, Chandler, Jeter, Barnett & Ray, PC.
Mathews resigned from his position serving as vice chairman of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma’s Business Committee following the federal indictment.
According to the affidavit filed for the search warrant, a search granted for Mathews’ Whisper account for chat initiated by him to anyone appearing to be under the age of 18 returned 58 usernames and various screen names used by Mathews including but not limited to “Big T, “ “random name,” “fun runner,” and “wanna buy a duck.”
Whisper app users can adjust how far of distance in miles they wish to reach out on Whisper to connect with others within the application. Investigators looked at usernames, IP logs, posts and the latitude and longitude of each post.
The investigation uncovered Mathews contacts with an alleged minor victim, determined to be 16 years-old at the time. Using geo-coordinates detectives tracked down the minor female now in Oklahoma whose identity was not revealed to protect the minor victim.
Perez states in the affidavit, he met the minor for an interview. She told Perez she recalled Mathews using three different screen names matching those found by investigators communicating with her through Whisper.
The minor told the investigator Mathews traveled to her high school in a neighboring state and picked her up after school. The minor told Perez she knew Mathews lived and worked in Oklahoma and described Mathews to three investigators.
The minor identified and described the make and color of the vehicle Mathews drove and gave details about the interior of the truck to the detectives.
According to Perez’s affidavit, she told him she had been chatting on Whisper with Mathews the day he picked her up from school and they discussed meeting for sex that day. The minor told police Mathews picked her up after school and asked her to perform oral and vaginal sex with him.
The alleged victim told Perez, Mathews drove her to a secluded area behind what appeared to be an abandoned house and once there, Mathews had vaginal sex with her in the back seat of the truck. She told the investigators the sex was not forced but was Mathews’ idea.
Perez states in the affidavit, after meeting Mathews, the minor victim blocked him on Whisper and deleted the application.
Judge Jodi F. Jayne granted the warrant requested on Dec. 14, 2017, to allow a search of the black Nissan truck used for purposes of gathering evidence, including DNA, and other items.
(Attempts were made by the Miami News-Record to contact Mathews’ attorney for comment and as of presstime had not been returned, but will be added as made available.)