North Idaho

Task force tracking sex offenders across Idaho panhandle

A Sandpoint man has been arrested, accused of possessing child pornography. 

Jerry Horner, 48, was arrested last week when investigators found illegal videos on his external hard drive.

The North Idaho Sex Offender Watch Task Force has been investigating Horner since May and found enough evidence to put him behind bars. He now faces charges of possession of child pornography and offering to share child pornography using a shared folder, after the task force determined something illegal was happening online through a file sharing network.

North Idaho sex offender task force

"It allows someone to download files from another computer. He had allegedly, at least at this point, was using the program to download child pornography," Josh Studor with the Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office said.

A search warrant was executed last week and that's when investigators found an external hard drive with illegal videos. Videos like this can be downloaded from many different places. The children in those videos are not local, but some kids have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"Some of the videos we had, if not all of them, were identified by NCMEC and were able to determine who those children were and that they were underage at the time," Studor said.

This is just one example of the work this North Idaho task force is dedicated to.

"Our work is about the children; we need to protect kids that are out there," Paul Farina with the North Idaho Sex Offender Task Force said.

The task force cracks down on internet crimes against children and makes sure sex offenders are properly registered.

"We've located many sex offenders that were living here in Kootenai County and the five northern counties that were never registered. They were registered in another state and moved here to Kootenai County and they just wanted to fly underneath the radar," Farina said.