Troy Lee Curtis, 48, of Cornville, was sentenced Monday by Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff. In addition to the prison term, Curtis will be subject to lifetime probation and registration as a sex offender following his release.
Curtis pleaded guilty Jan. 13 to three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor. He was also convicted of failing to register as a sex offender, following a previous Colorado conviction for sexual assault of a minor.
Curtis first came to the attention of federal investigators in late 2009, when HSI special agents in Flagstaff and Los Angeles discovered an Internet chat room that was being utilized to distribute child pornography. One chat room user had posted more than 50 images of child pornography to the site. Investigators linked the images to an account belonging to Curtis at his residence.
Authorities subsequently served two search warrants at Curtis' residence, seizing his computer and digital storage devices, which were found to contain several hundred photographs and at least 13 videos showing child pornography. A review of the materials by experts with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) identified known child victims in several of the video files and in nearly 90 of the photographs.
"This sentence should serve as a stern warning to those who prey on the most vulnerable and innocent segment of our society – our children," said John Koski, acting resident agent in charge of HSI Flagstaff. "Protecting children from dangerous online predators is one of HSI's top priorities. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to investigate those who would victimize children, and bring them to justice."
The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office assisted HSI with the investigation. The case was prosecuted by the Yavapai County Attorney's Office.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to NCMEC, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.