Monday, March 25, 2013
Washington Man Sentenced in Idaho Sex Trafficking Case
BOISE – Dyrell Robert Swinson, 20, of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced this morning in United States District Court to 57 months in federal prison for his role in a child sex trafficking case, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Swinson to be supervised by a probation officer for five years after he is released from custody. He will also be required to register as a sex offender. Swinson pleaded guilty in November 2012 to obstructing a sex trafficking of children investigation.
According to the plea agreement, on March 8, 2012, law enforcement observed suspicious behavior by the occupants of a vehicle eastbound on Interstate 84 in Payette County, Idaho. The vehicle was intercepted at a rest area and the two occupants of the vehicle were questioned by an Idaho State Police trooper. The officer determined that Swinson, the driver of the vehicle, had a suspended Washington driver’s license. The passenger, a young female who Swinson said was his cousin, was unable to provide identification. The trooper, believing the female's stated age to be false, conducted a consensual search of the vehicle and discovered items inconsistent with statements made by the vehicle's occupants. Swinson was arrested for driving without privileges and both individuals were taken to the Payette County Jail. During an interview at the jail, the passenger admitted her true age – 15 – and identity. A check with Idaho State Police dispatch revealed the juvenile was a ward of the state of Washington and a runaway who had disappeared on November 22, 2011.
According to the plea agreement, Swinson, after being advised that telephone calls from the jail were being recorded, made several calls requesting other parties to alter or delete electronic records. During the investigation, law enforcement discovered that Swinson had posted provocative photographs of the 15-year-old on Internet advertisement web sites with telephone numbers for customers to call. Swinson admitted that his solicitations of other persons to alter, eliminate, or destroy evidence stored online was an attempt to obstruct the enforcement of federal law involving sex trafficking of a minor.
“Sex trafficking victimizes vulnerable teens, often forcing them into a desperate lifestyle so that others may profit,” said Olson. “Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in Idaho are working together to identify and rescue these victims and to ensure that the traffickers are punished.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Idaho State Police, and the Payette County Sheriff's Office.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and for more information about internet safety education click on the tab "resources."