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Middleton man convicted of possessing child porn on his cellphone going to prison

Colton Turner was convicted in April of distribution and possession of child pornography.
Credit: Canyon County Jail
Colton Dune Turner

BOISE, Idaho — A Middleton man has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for the distribution and possession of child pornography. Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr. announced the sentence on Wednesday for 20-year-old Colton Turner.

Turner was also ordered to serve 25 years of supervised release after he gets out of prison. Turner pleaded guilty to the charges in April.

According to court records, the investigation began after the online platform MeWe reported that three MeWe accounts had been used to distribute child porn in July, August, and September 2019. An investigator with the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney's Office investigated the reports and determined that they belonged to Turner. 

The investigator obtained search warrants for the MeWe accounts, and found 218 images of child porn, including images depicting prepubescent minors, toddlers, and infants. Evidence showed that Turner used the accounts to distribute child porn, including explicit images of an eight-year-old child that he had taken with his cellphone.

A search warrant was obtained for Turner's home in Middleton and his cellphone. It was served on November 13, 2019. A forensic exam of the cellphone revealed over 600 images of child porn, including explicit images that Turner had taken of the eight-year-old child.

Chief U.S. District Judge David Nye also ordered Turner to pay restitution of $57,000 to victims in the images he possessed. As a result of his conviction, Turner will be required to register as a sex offender.

"This is a particularly egregious case involving an adult using an online platform to exploit dozens of children," said Gonzalez. "I commend these investigators for aggressively pursuing this defendant and holding him accountable.  We continue to urge parents, teachers, caregivers, young people, and businesses to be vigilant in reporting these types of crimes to law enforcement."

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