Prosecutors Move Forward in Trio of Southern Idaho Child Predator Cases | Idaho

POCATELLO — Two eastern Idaho men and one man were convicted in court last week of child sexual exploitation, according to U.S. Attorneys’ Office.

“My office will continue to aggressively pursue predators who exploit children,” U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit said. “Those who harm the most vulnerable members of our society must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

On January 25, after a three-day trial, a federal jury in Pocatello found Joseph Hornof, 41, of Blackfoot, guilty of two counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Chief US District Judge David C. Nye presided over the trial. Following the jury verdict, Hornof faces an increased sentence for a previous sex offense against a child in 2009 in Bannock County, Idaho.

On January 26, Shawn Chase Cody, 41, of Pocatello, was sentenced to 80 years in prison for manufacturing and possessing child pornography. According to court records, law enforcement received an investigative tip in August 2019 that Cody had sexually abused multiple children over the past six years. Law enforcement learned from the victims that Cody had videos of the crime on his phone and computer. Cody was later arrested after his home was searched and child pornography he produced was found on his devices. He also had 2,259 still images and 53 videos of child pornography that he had downloaded from the Internet.

On January 31, Bobby Clee Roberts, 53, of Rupert, was sentenced to nine years in prison for possession of child pornography. After police searched Roberts’ home, they found 19,200 files of child pornography on his devices.

U.S. Attorney Hurwit thanked Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Idaho Falls, the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, the Idaho Falls Police Department, the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, the Idaho ICAC Task Force, the Boone North Carolina Police Department , the Minidoka County Sheriff’s Office and the Rupert Police Department for their cooperative efforts that led to the indictments.

“I’m proud of the work our Project Safe Childhood team does every day in collaboration with our law enforcement partners,” said US Attorney Hurwit. “It is impressive to see the dedication and many hours that lawyers and investigators invest in these complex investigations.”

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