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Press Release

Twin Falls Man Sentenced to Over 11 Years for Possession of Child Pornography

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

BOISE – Domingo Zapata, 28, of Twins Falls, was sentenced to 136 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today.

According to court records, in May of 2021, an undercover agent with Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) learned that Zapata was a member of an internet group dedicated to the posting and sharing of child pornography. On six occasions, the undercover agent saw Zapata post child pornography within the group, including videos depicting prepubescent children engaged in sexual act with adults. Pursuant to a search warrant authorized by a federal judge, HSI obtained the contents of Zapata’s internet account. Within the account, HSI located over 600 images of child pornography. HSI later obtained a search warrant to examine Zapata’s cellphone and located child pornography on the cellphone.

“This case shows our unyielding resolve to identify, arrest, and prosecute those involved in distributing child pornography,” said U.S Attorney Josh Hurwit.  “I am grateful for the work of the ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Task Force, which finds offenders who prey on the most vulnerable members of our society.  ICAC’s success in protecting Idaho’s children arises from cooperation between local, state, and federal partners, and particularly in this case HSI, Twin Falls Police Department, and Twin Falls Prosecutor’s Office. This office and our law enforcement partners will continue our critical work to protect Idaho’s children.”

“Today’s sentence of over 11 years will ensure Mr. Zapata can no longer pilfer vile images that re-victimize children every time the ‘send’ button was pressed,” said Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest. “HSI is a proud participant in the ICAC taskforce as this growing threat can only be addressed through a team approach.”

Chief United States District Judge David C. Nye also ordered Zapata to serve 10 years of supervised release following his prison sentence, to forfeit the cellphone that was used to commit the offense, and to pay $33,000 in restitution to the victims in the images he possessed. As a result of the conviction, Zapata will be required to register as a sex offender.

U.S. Attorney Hurwit, of the District of Idaho, commended the cooperative efforts of HSI, Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Twin Falls Police Department, and Twin Falls Prosecutor’s Office 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. As part of Project Safe Childhood, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office partner to marshal 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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Contact

Christy Gunderson
Public Information Officer
(208) 334-1211

Updated August 31, 2022

Topic
Project Safe Childhood