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Arizona man sentenced to 17 years for sexually exploiting 14-month-old relative following HSI Flagstaff, Navajo County Sherriff investigation

HOLBROKE, Ariz. — A Clay Springs man was sentenced to 17 years in prison Feb. 22 in Navajo County Superior Court for a sex crime against his 14-month-old relative. Special agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Navajo County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Investigation Team (MCAT) investigated the incident.

“The diligent and extensive investigative work of HSI Special Agents and the Navajo County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Apprehension Team led to the identification and indictment of this defendant, who will now face the consequences of his despicable acts.” HSI Arizona said Special Agent Francisco B. . Brora. “This long sentence will give him plenty of time to reflect on the heinous crimes he committed against young children.”

On August 2, 2023, HSI officers notified the Navajo County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Enforcement Team that Joshua Cruz Everhart, 25, of Clay Springs, was distributing child sexual abuse materials online. I notified him that I had discovered that he was there.

The two agencies immediately began cooperating in an investigation that resulted in Everhart's arrest on August 3, 2023. Everhart confessed to appearing in, producing, and distributing sexually explicit videos featuring male relatives of his who were infants at the time. Shooting in progress.

Everhart remained in custody at the Navajo County Jail during the investigation and pleaded guilty in January. He was convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony punishable by a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 24 years in prison.

The court found several aggravating factors necessitating a sentence in excess of the minimum sentence. One was the fact that Everhart had trust and authority over the child. Everhart is not eligible for early release or parole and must serve his entire sentence. Once he is released from prison, he must register as a sex offender.

“Crimes against children are an absolute priority for me and the entire Navajo County Sheriff's Office. This is a great example of the partnership between the Navajo County Major Crimes Investigation Team and the Department of Homeland Security. The aggressive prosecution of the Navajo County Prosecutor's Office ,” said Navajo County Sheriff David Close. “Unfortunately, the Sheriff's Office investigates these crimes too often. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault or other crimes against children, please contact your local Please contact law enforcement.”

“Thanks to the tremendous investigation and cooperation between Homeland Security Investigations and MCAT, this dangerous sex offender is no longer free to harm children in our community,” said Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon. They can no longer be exploited.” “I appreciate their efforts and the efforts of the deputy county attorney who prosecuted this case. Crimes, especially against children, are heinous. Justice for all victims, especially those who are unable to defend themselves. It is our responsibility as members of the criminal justice system to ensure that

HSI encourages the public to report suspected predators or suspicious activity toward children through its toll-free tip line at 866-347-2423 or by filling out an online report form. Both facilities are staffed 24 hours a day. Callers outside the United States and Canada should dial 802-872-6199. Users who are hearing impaired should call TTY 802-872-6196.

HSI takes a victim-centered approach to child exploitation investigations and works to identify, recover, and stabilize victims. HSI works with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, our Internet Crimes Against Children partners, and other federal, state, and local agencies to help solve cases and rescue sexually exploited children. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children can be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's 24-hour toll-free hotline at 800-THE-LOST.

HSI is the primary investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that investigates transnational crimes and threats, particularly criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure used for international trade, travel, and financial movements. I am in charge of HSI's more than 8,700 employees are comprised of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 U.S. cities and 93 international locations in 56 countries. HSI's international presence represents DHS' largest investigative law enforcement presence overseas and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

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