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Chubbuck man arrested after international child pornography investigation

Crime Watch

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Shawn M. Young | Bannock County Jail

CHUBBUCK — After a nearly eight-month investigation across several countries, a Chubbuck man has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

Shawn M. Young, 44, is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a child and could face up to 100 years in prison and $100,000 in fines if convicted on all charges.

The investigation began on April 10 after a family member contacted police to report finding sexually explicit photos on Young’s cell phone, according to court documents obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.

Police arrived to execute a search warrant of the home. During the search, police examined the phone and an officer allegedly observed images of what he described as minors as young as 1 year old being engaged in sexual acts with a man.

Police confiscated the phone and obtained a search warrant to download the image files as evidence and submission for image verification. Police also discovered and seized a Nikon camera with an SD card in the apartment’s kitchen.

After downloading images from the phone, Chubbuck Police contacted the FBI, which agreed to complete a forensic download of the phone, using the obtained search warrant on April 11. Investigators also discovered Young had a storage shed and a camper containing several phones, laptops and tablets and storage devices.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent the abuse, endangerment and sexual exploitation of children, was brought in on the case. The FBI requested its assistance in June to help identify the child victims found in the photos.

Of the files searched, 98 photos matched those identified by the the center’s victim identification program. The investigation not only led to the location of several children exploited in the United States, but others elsewhere in the world.

Included in the search were law enforcement in France, Germany, Italy, Moldova, Paraguay, the United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, Canada, Sweden and Lithuania.

Once the FBI concluded its investigation, it was determined that about 275 images were of prepubescent child pornography. An additional 63 images were found of child pornography of victims estimated to be from 12 to 14 years of age; and around 29 images that appeared to show victims that were possibly under the age of 18, according to court documents.

“There were numerous sexually explicit chat data/evidence, which indicated Young had been chatting/communicating via the cell phone on the internet regarding child pornography,” police said in their report.

Included in the report was the description of multiple videos of violent rape of minors, including with the use of weapons.

On Nov. 10, police noted they had been in contact with Young for several weeks. Young agreed to take a polygraph examination at the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office. On the date of the examination, Young failed to appear. He claimed to have forgotten the scheduled polygraph. Police then scheduled a second test on another date, and Young allegedly was a no-show again.

“Due to Young being unwilling to take a polygraph examination, this incident will be forward to the Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office for review, at their request,” according to court documents.

Documents state during interviews Young said he was exposed to pornography at the age of 12 and has been addicted since.

“Young said that pornography is and probably will always be an addiction for him and he said, ‘I can’t get enough,'” according to court documents.

The Chubbuck Police Department arrested Young on Tuesday. He is being held in the Bannock County Jail on a $25,000 bond. He expected to appear in court Dec. 19.

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