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Idaho State News

Post Falls Man Sentenced to 71 Months in Federal Prison for Failure to Register as a Convicted Sex Offender and Possession of a Stolen Firearm

COEUR D’ALENE – Eric Lynn Heartburg, 63, of Post Falls, was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison for failure to register as a convicted sex offender and possession of a stolen firearm, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today. U.S. District Judge Amanda K. Brailsford also sentenced Heartburg to five years of supervised release, which will commence upon completing his prison sentence. Heartburg continues to be required to register as a sex offender.

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According to court records, Heartburg was convicted of child molestation in the first degree in Spokane County in 1992. As a result of his conviction, he was required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). However, beginning in August 2020, Heartburg absconded from sex offender registration.

In early 2023, while still an unregistered sex offender, Heartburg moved from Spokane, Washington to Post Falls, Idaho, and into a home with two women and four children. Heartburg lived in that home until he was arrested on February 25, 2023. During a search of Heartburg’s room, law enforcement found a pistol that had been stolen from one of Heartburg’s roommates.

U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the joint investigation of the Idaho State Police and the U.S. Marshals Service, which led to the charges.

“Cooperation between federal and state partners is critical to ensuring that sex offenders who fail to register are identified and brought to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit.

“This investigation was a great collaborative effort with the Idaho State Police and our agency,” said United States Marshal Brent Bunn for the District of Idaho. “It was sparked by proactive police work by the state police. It is our duty to protect the public and ensure out-of-state convicted sex offenders obey the law by registering and updating their sex offender registration in Idaho.”

U.S. Attorney Hurwit also thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, and the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for their assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Johnson prosecuted the case.

Heartburg was prosecuted for a violation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) passed by Congress in 2006. The Act requires sex offenders to register and keep their registration current in each jurisdiction where they reside. Violations of SORNA can be prosecuted in federal court.

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 CEOS, 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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