Beshear: Investigations, Arrests of Cyber Predators by AG’s Office Lead to Federal Court Convictions

ARRESTED

Investigations and arrests of two online predators by Attorney General Andy Beshear’s cyber team have led to a combined projected federal prison time of nearly 23 years.

In securing the convictions, federal prosecutors used testimony and casework by Beshear’s Department of Criminal Investigations Cyber Crimes Unit who conducted online undercover investigations before arresting the men.

Timothy Mark Poynter II, 33, of Lexington, received a 12-and-half year federal prison sentence by U.S. District Judge Joseph M. Hood for using the internet with his cellular telephone to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice and coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity.

Donald Lynn Martin, 69, of Floyds Knobs, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge David J. Hale for attempted enticement and traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. He received a sentence of 10 years in federal prison followed by 10 years of supervised release, mandatory registration as a sex offender, a $5,000 fine and a $10,000 special assessment under the Victims of Trafficking Act.

“Our office works with local, state and federal law enforcement officials to ensure our communities and children are safe,” Beshear said. “I want to thank federal and state prosecutors and local and federal agencies who share our priority to protect children from sexual abuse and take those who are exploiting children off the streets.”

Each of these cases started in state court, Beshear said.

Beshear said he appreciates each Commonwealth’s Attorney who agreed to forego state prosecution in favor of federal court, where possession of child pornography and seeking sex with a minor carry stronger penalties if convicted.

Fayette County
According to the plea agreement, Poynter previously admitted to communicating with two different undercover law enforcement agents who both responded to an ad Poynter posted on Craigslist.com.

Beshear’s Cyber Crimes Unit worked with Homeland Security Investigations and the Electronic Crimes Branch of the Kentucky State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Marye prosecuted the case.

Jefferson County
Beshear’s cyber investigators launched an investigation after Martin was believed to be seeking sex with a minor and sending sexually explicit text messages and emails to cyber investigators. Martin was armed with a handgun when he was arrested Sept. 2, 2017.

At the time, officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department and the United States Secret Service assisted Beshear’s office.

Martin’s trial concluded in the Western District federal court April 20, 2018, with a guilty verdict. Assistant United States Attorney Spencer McKiness prosecuted the case.

Beshear’s cyber investigators focus on arresting predators who seek to harm children in Kentucky communities and on the internet.

The Cyber Crimes Unit has some of the best and most modern digital forensic investigation capabilities. These include collecting evidential documentation and files from a variety of devices, including damaged, password protected, erased or hidden information.

This evidence collection can be done within the unit’s cyber lab or in the field to meet the demands of an extenuating circumstance. The office’s forensic detectives not only support the office’s needs, but support local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that do not have their own cyber investigation and forensic capabilities.

Over the past two and half years, the number of arrests, indictments and convictions by Beshear’s cyber investigators has reached historic levels, totaling more than 150. A number of these arrests was part of the office’s three statewide cyber stings.

Beshear said that Kentuckians have a moral and legal duty to report any instance of child abuse to local law enforcement or to Kentucky’s Child Abuse hotline at 877-597-2331 or 877-KYSAFE1.

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