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CYBER CRIME: Grandparent caught leading double life

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Updated: 2/12/2014 8:12 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & -- News 3's investigation into cybersex continues. Our Crime Tracker 3 team has reported on a unique type of cybersex fighter.

In part 2 of our series, we focus on the typess of criminals our super sleuth is fighting.

Crime Tracker 3's Marie Mortera has the story of a Las Vegas grandparent who managed to lead a double life until he was caught.

"He was a father, grandfather, he lived with his wife. He was just a regular family man,” said ICE Special Agent Yashira Marcial in talking about Steven Byington.

Byington is now an inmate who initially didn't set off any alarms but, according to investigators, had a dark secret hidden on his computer.

“Horrible things, video of a toddler bound with rope, pretty disturbing images and videos,” Marcial said.

He was caught with images that were traded over the Internet regularly.

News 3 was given a rare look at the computer investigation network housed in the Las Vegas Immigration and Customs Enforcement office.

The real-time program tracks known child pornographer's files and alerts authorities each and every time someone in southern Nevada decides to download.

Taking down Byington and cyber predators just like him, for computer analyst Kevin Leduc, means tracing their online trail.

The incriminating files included images of Byington's granddaughter, which were pulled off external hard drives. Back in the ICE office, Leduc has a few samples of what is recovered in a typical case.

Byington pleaded for his freedom. Court documents include a letter he wrote arguing that "there are no videos on my computer." He claimed the grand jury that indicted him was duped.

Marcial says testimony from his own family paints a much different story.

"She had taken video of herself and her boyfriend that was for her, she was minor and he went in and transferred that to his computer and she didn't know," Maricel said. "No, she didn't know her grandfather had that video or those pictures."

Byington was sentenced late last year for receipt and possession of child pornography. He was given a 14-year-sentence.

Maricel warns that people can never be too careful. Predators are always lurking--especially in cyber space.

"It's very disturbing to know these people are out there, neighbors, people you run into at the grocery, they're out there," she said.

Marcial urges vigilance from parents. Law enforcement teams, meanwhile, work hard to track illegal cybersex in neighborhoods throughout southern Nevada.



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