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Payette Man Sentenced to Over 7.5 Years in Federal Prison for Possessing Child Pornography

BOISE – Joel J. Martinez, 35, of Payette, was sentenced to 92 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today.

According to court records, the investigation began when Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) received numerous CyberTips from Google.  A CyberTip is a report submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).  NCMEC gathers leads and tips regarding suspected online crimes against children and forwards them to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.  HSI determined that Google accounts, later identified as belonging to Martinez, had uploaded child pornography.

HSI obtained a search warrant for the contents of the Google accounts and located over 200 videos of child pornography within the accounts.  HSI later executed a federal search warrant at Martinez’s residence in Payette.  HSI seized several cellphones and a SD card belonging to Martinez.  HSI located additional files of child pornography on the devices.  During an interview, Martinez admitted to downloading and viewing child pornography and to paying for access to a website that contained child pornography.

Senior U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also sentenced Martinez to 10 years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $3,000 in restitution to a victim in the images he possessed.  Martinez will be required to register as a sex offender as a result of the conviction.

“Protecting our children from internet predators is, and must be, a priority for both the government and internet service providers,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit.  “CyberTips like the one that led to this conviction exemplify the value of public/private cooperation.  My Office will continue to prioritize these prosecutions and hold accountable those who would exploit children.”

“In safeguarding our community, we stand united against those who exploit innocence. Martinez’s sentencing is a testament to the resilience of collaboration, reminding us that protecting our children is not just a duty, but a shared commitment to their well-being and the strength of our community bonds,” said Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest.  “HSI is proud to work closely with the Idaho ICAC team along with the Payette Police Department to effect this judgement.”

U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the cooperative efforts of HSI, the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Payette Police Department, which led to the charge.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kassandra McGrady 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. 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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