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Press Release

Santa Rosa Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Possession of Child Pornography and Manufacturing Methamphetamine on Tohono O’odham Nation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. – Stephen Folson, 37, of Santa Rosa, Arizona, was sentenced on Tuesday by United States District Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson to 10 years’ incarceration. Folson, an enrolled member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, pleaded guilty to one count of Possession of Child Pornography and one count of Endangering Human Life While Illegally Manufacturing Methamphetamine.

Folson was arrested on March 2, 2021, after an investigation revealed that he was purchasing precursor chemicals from Canada and China to manufacture methamphetamine at his residence. Law enforcement agents served a search warrant at the residence, on the Tohono O’odham Nation Reservation, and discovered a substantial amount of laboratory equipment and precursor chemical that was used to manufacture methamphetamine. Folson shared the residence with another adult and two minor children. Agents also searched Folson’s cellular phone and an external hard drive located in the residence and determined that the devices contained over 1,000 images and several videos of child pornography.

Upon release from prison, Folson will be placed on lifetime supervised release with conditions of supervision. He will be required to register as a sex offender and to complete a sex offender treatment program. He also was ordered to pay restitution to victims depicted in the child sex abuse images he possessed.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Agents from the NATIVE (Native American Targeted Investigations of Violent Enterprises) Task Force, including from Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Border Patrol, and the Tohono O’odham Police Department participated in the investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Carin C. Duryee and Ryan P. DeJoe, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:          CR 21-00545-TUC-CKJ
                                         CR 21-02664-TUC-CKJ

RELEASE NUMBER:    2023-028_Folson

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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit

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Yvette Cantu
Public Affairs Officer
(602) 514-7640

Updated March 3, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 2023-028_Folson