RENO, Nev. – A local resident was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison followed by supervised release as a result of an investigation lead by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Randall Linscheid, of Reno, pleaded guilty Oct. 3, 2019, to one count of possession of child pornography. Chief U.S. District Judge Miranda M. Du presided over the sentencing. In addition to the term of imprisonment followed by lifetime of supervised release, Linscheid must register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
“For so many years, this man hid his perverse behavior of downloading thousands of images and dozens of videos of child pornography. His despicable tendencies have now come to an end due to the impressive investigation lead by HSI. We are committed to aggressively work these types of cases to ensure predators are found in our communities and face justice,” said Frank Burrola, special agent in charge for HSI Las Vegas.
According to court documents, between December 2018 and January 2019, law enforcement discovered that Linscheid had downloaded child pornography via a peer-to-peer file-sharing network. On March 26, 2019, HSI special agents and Northern Nevada Cyber Center investigators executed a search warrant at Linscheid’s residence. Of the electronic devices seized by law enforcement, three contained images and videos of child pornography. All of these devices belonged to Linscheid. During an interview with law enforcement, Linscheid admitted that he had been downloading child pornography images for approximately 16 years and that he would save the images to an external hard drive. A forensic analysis of the three devices that were seized revealed 2,143 images and 39 videos of child pornography.
In fiscal year 2019, more than 3,500 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.
This matter is part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC coordinates 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 PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab "resources."
For Internet safety information for educators, parents, and children alike, please visit https://www.ice.gov/topics/iGuardians to learn about HSI’s iGuardian program.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member 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.