Federal Jury Convicts Pocatello Man of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and Receipt of Child Pornography
BOISE – Brett Michael Malone, 31, of Adrian, Oregon, was sentenced to 412 months in federal prison for attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today. Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye also sentenced Malone to a lifetime of supervised release and entered an order forfeiting the electronic device used to commit the offense. Malone was ordered to pay restitution to the victim of the offense and will be required to register as a sex offender as a result of the conviction.
Malone was convicted by a jury on October 24, 2022, after a four-day trial. Following the jury’s verdict, Malone admitted to a sentencing enhancement for committing the enticement offense 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.
“While nothing can make up for the trauma suffered by the victim in this case and all victims of child exploitation, this sentence sends a strong message that those who victimize children will be prosecuted and severely punished,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit. “In this case, we are glad that the community will be protected from further predation by this repeat offender. I am grateful to the federal, state, tribal, and local investigators, parents, teachers, and all others who take action to protect vulnerable minors.”
“Malone’s days of preying on and exploiting the minors of Idaho are hopefully over,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations operations in the Pacific Northwest. “This sentence should serve as a warning to those engaged in this type of criminal behavior, if you seek to exploit our children HSI and our Idaho law enforcement partners will stop at nothing to hold you accountable. This outcome highlights the consequences of believing otherwise. The partnership with Idaho State police and Boise Police Department was tremendous on this case and was critical to its overall success."
U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the cooperative efforts of Homeland Security Investigations, Idaho State Police, and Boise Police Department, which led to the 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.
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