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TUCSON, Ariz. – A Phoenix-area man was sentenced Oct. 21 to 188 months in prison for child exploitation offenses following a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Border Patrol investigation.
Robert Allen Yost, 61, of Phoenix, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sex traffic children and production of child pornography, as well as conspiracy to transport illegal aliens for profit. Upon release from prison, Yost will be placed on lifetime supervised release with sex offender conditions and will be required to register as a sex offender.
“The sentence imposed on this despicable individual ensures that he will not have another opportunity to exploit another child through his perverse behavior, or engage in human smuggling,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge, HSI Phoenix. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to target those who believe they can hide their grotesque actions where ever they may be.”
In March 2020, Border Patrol agents initially encountered Yost smuggling undocumented noncitizens along State Route 80, when a search of his phone revealed child exploitation content. During his guilty plea on Jan. 18, Yost admitted that he had exchanged pictures and videos depicting child sexual abuse with other people via text messages and the internet. He also admitted that he asked another individual to send sexually explicit images of a child in that individual’s custody and offered methamphetamine in exchange for sexual access to the child. The intended sexual activity with the child did not take place due to other intervening circumstances.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation incidents or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST. HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.
U.S. Attorneys Carin Duryee and Jared Kreamer Hope, District of Arizona, Tucson, prosecuted the case.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
ICE breaking news HSI Douglas, Border Patrol investigation sends Phoenix man to prison for 188 months for child exploitation offenses https://governmentagencynews.com/hsi-douglas-border-patrol-investigation-sends-phoenix-man-to-prison-for-188-months-for-child-exploitation-offenses/ https://www.ice.gov/rss/ice-breaking-news https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/hsi-douglas-border-patrol-investigation-sends-phoenix-man-prison-188-months-child Government Agency News http://governmentagencynews.com https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/images/dhsIceSocial1.jpg