Rathdrum Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Charge
COEUR D'ALENE - Randy James Hirst, 57, of Rathdrum, Idaho, pleaded guilty today to possession of sexually explicit images of minors, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Hirst was indicted by a federal grand Jury in Coeur d'Alene on October 21, 2014.
According to the plea agreement, Hirst downloaded sexually explicit images of minors from the Internet in 2013. These images were found during a July 2013, search warrant served on his Rathdrum residence. A forensic review of seized items found three-hundred photos, and nine videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct including images of prepubescent minors. The forensic review also revealed that Hirst had used computer search terms consistent with a person trying to obtain child pornography. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children determined that Hirst’s collection included images of minors from multiple states, including Idaho and Washington, and from several foreign countries.
The charge of possession of sexually explicit images of minors is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000.00, and lifetime supervised release.
Sentencing is set for May 5, 2015, before Chief United States District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Coeur d'Alene.
The case was investigated through the collaborative effort of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and United States Secret Service. These agencies participate in the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a statewide coalition of local, state and federal law enforcement and prosecution agencies, focused on apprehending and prosecuting individuals who use the Internet to criminally exploit children. For more information about the Idaho ICAC Task Force and a list of all the participating agencies, visit www.icactaskforce.org.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”