Rathdrum Man Sentenced to Prison for Possession of Child Pornography Charge
COEUR D'ALENE - Randy James Hirst, 58, of Rathdrum, Idaho, was sentenced yesterday to 36 months in prison for possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Hirst to pay $3,000 to a child in one of the images Hirst possessed, and to serve ten years of supervised release upon his release from prison. Hirst pleaded guilty to the charge on January 21, 2015.
According to the plea agreement, Hirst’s computer was identified as making child pornography available in an internet based peer to peer network. A U.S. Secret Service agent discovered Hirst’s online activity and in July 2013, a federal search warrant was served on Hirst’s Rathdrum residence. Investigators seized Hirst’s computers and later found that they contained nine videos and three-hundred images of children engaged in sexually explicit acts. A forensic analysis revealed that Hirst used search terms to find sexually explicit images of preteen girls. During the sentencing hearing, Hirst admitted that he committed the crime and apologized to the Court and his family.
The case was investigated through the collaborative effort of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Secret Service, United States Border Patrol, and United States Customs and Border Protection. 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.icacidaho.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.”