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Child Exploitation
07/09/2019

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Baker City, Oregon man sentenced to 5 years in prison for attempted travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct

BOISE – Shawn Thomas Conaway, 45, of Baker City, Oregon, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to 60 months in federal prison for attempted travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, Special Agent in Charge Brad Bench of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Seattle Field Office and U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordered that Conaway be placed on supervised release for five years following his prison sentence. Conaway pleaded guilty on March 5, 2019.

According to court records, on November 3, 2018, a detective with the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force posted an advertisement on Craigslist indicating a man and a woman had an interest in a sexual encounter in exchange for drugs. Conaway responded to the advertisement and communicated with the detective. The detective posed as a 19-year-old male, and as the male’s 15-year-old girlfriend. Conaway proposed having sexual contact with the 15-year-old, and offered to bring “weed and ADHD stuff” for the minor to use.

“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) urges parents and caregivers to pay close attention to who their children are interacting with online and via phone applications,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle. “We are committed to doing all we can to protect children, but we are asking for your help. Child predators will go to great lengths to exploit children, most often when the children are within the perceived safety of their own homes.”

Conaway drove from Baker City to a specified location in Caldwell, Idaho, to meet the minor. Officers arrested Conaway and discovered a bag of marijuana and a prescription bottle containing amphetamine/dextroamphetamine. Conaway admitted traveling across the Oregon/Idaho border in an attempt to meet and have sexual contact with the 15-year-old in exchange for marijuana and ADHD medication.

At sentencing, Judge Winmill also ordered Conaway to forfeit the cellular phone he used in the commission of the offense. As a result of his conviction, Conaway will be required to register as a sex offender.

The investigation was part of “Operation Grand Canyon,” a joint state and federal undercover operation conducted in Canyon County, Idaho in November of 2018 to identify individuals predisposed to meet minors for sexual contact. Participating agencies included ICE's HSI, the Idaho ICAC Task Force, the United States Marshal’s Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, the Caldwell Police Department, the Idaho State Police, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, the Idaho Attorney General’s Office Special Investigation Unit, the Idaho Criminal Intelligence Center, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. As part of Project Safe Childhood, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office partner to marshal federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

For more information about HSI’s child exploitation mission, please visit https://www.ice.gov/predator.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.

For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 07/10/2019