Federal Jury Convicts Pocatello Man of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and Receipt of Child Pornography
BOISE – After a four-day trial, a federal jury sitting in Boise found Brett Michael Malone, 30, of Adrian, Oregon, guilty of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today. Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye presided over the trial, which began on October 24, and concluded with a guilty verdict on October 27. Following the jury’s verdict, Malone admitted a sentencing enhancement for committing the enticement crime while having a duty under state law to register as a sex offender. In 2013, Malone was convicted of rape in the third degree in Malheur County, Oregon.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Malone used Facebook to communicate with a 15-year-old girl in Idaho. During the communications, Malone sent the victim sexually explicit images and videos and enticed her to meet him for sexual contact. The victim’s mom located messages between Malone and the victim on the victim’s cellphone and reported the messages to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). HSI assumed the victim’s online identity and began communicating with Malone in an undercover capacity. During the communications, Malone continued to engage in sexually explicit conversation with the undercover agent posing as the victim and arranged to meet the victim for sexual contact. When Malone traveled to meet the victim, he was apprehended by law enforcement.
“Law enforcement did a great job in this case of responding quickly and effectively to a parent’s concern,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit. “Because of that, this offender is unable to victimize anyone else.”
The charge of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor carries a minimum of ten years and up to life in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and at least five years and up to lifetime of supervised release. The sentencing enhancement carries a minimum of ten years in prison to run consecutively to the enticement count. Malone will be required to register as a sex offender as a result of the conviction.
Sentencing is set for February 6, 2023, before Judge Nye at the federal courthouse in Boise.
U.S. Attorney Hurwit, of the District of Idaho commended the cooperative efforts of HSI, Idaho State Police, and Boise Police Department, which led to charges.
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 CEOS, 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 www.justice.gov/psc.
Public Information Officer