POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – A 35-year-old Blackfoot man was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for coercing a minor to engage in sexual activity and producing and receiving child pornography, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced Wednesday.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, the investigation began in December 2020 after an individual reported finding sexually explicit Snapchat messages between a 14-year-old child and Andrew Ray Young. A detective with the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant for Young’s home and electronic devices. A search of Young’s phone found Young was having sexual conversations with the child for more than eight months. During that time, he had the child produce numerous sexually explicit images and videos. This included 38 files recovered from Young’s phone. The child testified at trial the defendant met her online. Through a process of grooming, he convinced her to produce the images and videos.
Visiting Wyoming Chief U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl also sentenced Young to 25 years of supervised release, which will commence upon completing his prison sentence. Young will also be required to register as a sex offender. Young was convicted by a federal jury sitting in Pocatello on June 22, 2022.
“Protecting the most vulnerable members of our society, our children, has never been more urgent,” Hurwit said. “I thank our federal and local partners for their teamwork and dedication in this case. We will continue our efforts to ensure the safety of Idaho’s children.”
U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the cooperative efforts of the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations in Idaho Falls, the Rexburg, Idaho Falls, and Blackfoot Police Departments, and the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, which led to charges.