Ponchatoula man ( former state trooper ) pleads guilty To Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that JASON BOYET, age 42, a resident of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Sarah Vance to a one-count Bill of Information charging him with distribution of images depicting the sexual exploitation of children, including children as young as three (3) years old, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ' 2252(a)(2).
According to court documents, in about February 2020, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation operating in an undercover capacity (Agent 1) in the State of Texas accessed a chat room within an instant messaging mobile application known to be a haven for purveyors of digital files depicting the sexual victimization of children. Agent 1 was introduced to an individual, subsequently determined to be BOYET, who distributed to him sexually suggestive and sexually explicit photographs of minors, including a prepubescent female (Victim 1), over whom BOYET claimed to have custody and control.
On February 12, 2020, special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a federal search warrant at BOYET’s residence. Based on a voluntarily interview with BOYET and a review of digital evidence seized during the execution of the search warrant, law enforcement authorities confirmed that BOYET took sexually explicit images of Victim 1 at his residence using his Apple iPhone XR on at least three dates between December 19, 2019, and February 11, 2020, some of which he distributed to third parties as described above. Agents also confirmed that BOYET accessed a link to an online file storage account containing numerous videos depicting the sexual victimization of children and, further, received at least 151 images and 195 videos depicting children as young as approximately one (1) year old engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
BOYET faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five (5) years and a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years, followed by up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. He can also be required to register as a sex offender. Sentencing before Judge Vance has been scheduled for January 20, 2021 at 10:30 am.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorney’s= Offices and the Criminal Division's 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.
U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg is in charge of the prosecution.