Man pleads guilty for obstruction sex trafficking investigation
A Washington man pleaded guilty Tuesday for obstructing a sex trafficking of children investigation after being pulled over in Payette in March.
Dyrell Robert Swinson, 20 of Tacoma, WA, was pulled over March 8, after Idaho State Police observed suspicious behavior by the occupants of a vehicle eastbound on Interstate 84 in Payette County.
The two occupants of the vehicle were questioned by an ISP trooper. The officer determined that Swinson, the driver of the vehicle, had a suspended Washington driver’s license. The passenger, a young female whom Swinson said was his cousin, was unable to provide identification. The trooper believed the her stated age to be false and searched the vehicle. They found out she was actually 15 years old.
"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," said U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson. "Swinson -- 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.”