Printed on: July 24, 2013

Idaho Falls man indicted for possession of child pornography

By RUTH BROWN
rbrown@postregister.com

A federal grand jury in Pocatello on Tuesday indicted an Idaho Falls man for possessing child pornography.

Daniel Joseph Dalton's case was the subject of three Post Register articles in April that detailed how investigators with the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office had forgotten about evidence for two years. Dalton, 37, was not named in the April articles because he had not been charged.

That changed with his indictment for possession of sexually explicit images of minors. The indictment was announced in a U.S. Attorney's Office news release.

The investigation into Dalton began March 14, 2011, when an employee at The Computer Guy repair shop discovered possible child pornography on Dalton's computer and reported it to the sheriff's office.

A sheriff's office investigator executed a search warrant for Dalton's computer hard drive and reportedly found 118 videos containing child pornography. The investigator interviewed Dalton on March 22, 2011.

But the evidence sat tucked away in a secured evidence room and the case was untouched for nearly two years, according to the Post Register's investigation. Bonneville County Sheriff Paul Wilde said in April that the department's investigation simply had been forgotten.

The case was not submitted to the federal investigator until Feb. 15, which was after the newspaper brought the issue to Wilde's attention.

According to the indictment, Dalton "unlawfully and knowingly" possessed visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct on a desktop computer and two hard drives.

"We appreciate the work of the Bureau of Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney's Office, and that the case could lead to an indictment," Wilde said Tuesday.

A date for Dalton's initial appearance has not been set.

Possessing sexually explicit images of minors is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and at least five years of supervised release.

Law enforcement also is seeking forfeiture of the computer equipment used in the offense.

Ruth Brown can be reached at 542-6750.

Extra insight

April 3: "Case collects dust"

tinyurl.com/DaltonIndicted

April 4: "Officials stress importance of timely child porn prosecution"

tinyurl.com/DaltonIndicted2

April 5: "Workers chilled by child porn discovery"

tinyurl.com/DaltonIndicted3