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Florence couple pleads guilty to producing child pornography

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L to R: Matthew and Patricia Ayers (WHNT News 19 file)

BIRMINGHAM — A Florence couple pleaded guilty today in federal court to multiple charges that they exploited a minor child in their custody to produce child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr.

Patricia Allana Ayers, 34, and her husband, Matthew David Ayers, 42, entered their guilty pleas before U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler on charges related to 53 pornographic images of the child produced between the summer of 2010 and January 2013.

Patricia Ayers pleaded guilty to 53 counts of producing child pornography, and Matthew Ayers pleaded guilty to 25 counts of production. Their sentencing dates have not been set.

The Ayers could face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, per count, for producing child pornography.

The couple has remained in jail in Lauderdale County since early last year on state child pornography, rape and sexual abuse charges.

Anyone with information about the potential sexual exploitation of children should report it to law enforcement immediately. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children operates the Cyber Tip Line in partnership with the FBI and other federal authorities. If you have information, call the tip line at 1-800-THE-LOST.

-Information provided by the U.S. Department of Justice