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Idaho Falls Man Sentenced to Over 16 years in Federal Prison for Coercion and Enticement of a Minor

POCATELLO – Brett Victor Castro, 37, of Idaho Falls, was sentenced to 200 months in federal prison for coercion and enticement of a minor, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today.

According to court records, on June 7, 2023, Castro communicated with a 15-year-old female over the internet using the Facebook Messenger application.  Castro quickly directed the conversation to one of a sexual nature.  When the minor informed Castro that she was only 15 years old, Castro responded by asking her if she would like to have sex with a 37-year-old.  Castro offered marijuana in exchange for sex.  Castro drove to the minor, picked her up, provided her marijuana and drove her to a remote location in Idaho Falls.  At the remote location Castro engaged in various sexual acts with the minor.  The minor reported that during the sexual encounter she asked Castro to stop, and he did not stop, telling her he was almost finished.

Senior U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Castro to be placed on supervised release for 15 years following his prison sentence.  Castro pleaded guilty to the charge in October 2023.

“We will spare no effort in protecting Idaho’s children from sexual predators,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit.  “This sentence should send a message that severe consequences await anyone who would seek to sexually exploit our children.”

“The online threats children face is unlike any seen by prior generations and necessitates diligence by both law enforcement and those closest to those children,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest.  “HSI and our partners work tirelessly to protect the community from predators such as these and in this instance, take them off the streets for years to come.  This requires a joint effort, however, and we ask everyone to play a part in protecting the most vulnerable amongst us.”

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in Idaho Falls and the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Paskett prosecuted this case.

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 the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Department of Justice, 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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