For Immediate Release
Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Detectives and Regional Narcotics Unit (RNU) arrest Reno man on sex and drug charges
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
HEAT Detectives began investigating 29-year-old Matthew Edwards in early 2023 after he initiated an online conversation with a detective’s social media account, in which the detective portrays a juvenile. Edwards encouraged, who he thought was a 15-year-old girl, to send him illicit photos and videos, along with planning to meet to engage in sexual activity. As a result of their investigation, HEAT Detectives arrested Edwards for multiple offenses related to crimes against children.
Additionally, RNU Detectives began a concurrent investigation into Edwards for illicit narcotics sales in the Reno/Sparks area. In April of 2023, RNU Detectives secured a search warrant for Edwards’ apartment and subsequently arrested Edwards for narcotics offenses along with firearm related charges.
Edwards has been charged with Luring a Child for Sex, Attempted Child Abuse, Attempt to Use/Permit a Minor to be the Subject of Sexual Portrayal in a Performance, Attempted 1st Degree Kidnapping of a Minor, Attempted Statutory Sexual Seduction by a Person over 21 Years of Age, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell, Sale of a Controlled Substance and multiple counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person.
The Human Exploitation and Trafficking and Regional Narcotics Unit is comprised of Detectives from the Reno Police Department, Sparks Police Department, Washoe County Sheriff's Office, University of Nevada Police Department, Nevada Counterdrug Program, Homeland Security Investigations, and Washoe County School District Police Department.
This investigation highlights the potential risks for children using the internet.
As a parent or guardian, here are some key things to consider:
Does your child have their own smartphone or access to a computer?
Are they using social networking apps or other sites?
Do you know who their followers are and who they follow?
Have you talked to them about the responsible use of these apps?
Do they know how to ignore/ report unwanted contacts?
The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.