Former award-winning trucker receives 50 years for child pornography
July 28, 2021
•Land Line Staff
A former truck driver, who had received the TA & Petro Citizen Driver and Pilot Flying J Road Warrior awards, has been sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for child pornography.
Michael Dewayne Sheeds, 63, of Bandera, Texas, pleaded guilty in January 2020 to one count of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. On Tuesday, July 27, a federal judge in San Antonio sentenced Sheeds to 50 years in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release.
The former truck driver also was ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution to each of the two victims, as well as two $5,000 assessments per the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.
Sheeds was arrested in January 2019 on a warrant from the Bandera County Sheriff’s Office. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Sheeds’ cellphone was seized and found to contain images and videos depicting the sexual assault of children, including child abuse images and videos Sheeds produced.
“The defendant’s abuse forever altered his victims’ lives and was only discovered when one of them bravely preserved evidence of his horrific conduct,” U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff said in a news release. “I am convinced the action undertaken by this victim prevented additional harm. While the impact to the victims in this case can never be undone, my hope is that the lengthy prison sentence assists in their healing process while serving to further protect our community.”
Before his arrest, Sheeds had been celebrated in the trucking industry for his more than 3.5 million safe driving miles. He was a Citizen Driver honoree in 2015 and the Road Warrior winner in 2017. As a driver for Werner Enterprises, Sheeds also was a member of the American Trucking Association’s America’s Road Team for 2017-18.