West Richland man sentenced for child pornography offenses

By on Friday, January 7th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

RICHLAND – A West Richland man extradited from Kazakhstan was sentenced Thursday to 23 years in federal prison for attempted production of child pornography. Trent Drexel Howard, 50, was also ordered to serve an additional 20 years on federal supervision after he is released from prison. Howard pled guilty on September 23.

According to court documents, from 2008 through 2016, Howard attempted to produce child pornography of at least 14 different minor victims by hiding cameras in the bathrooms and bedrooms of his residence. He captured video footage of his minor victims in nude and semi-nude states.

The investigation began when Howard distributed 168 files containing suspected child pornography images and videos to an undercover agent using a publicly accessible, Internet-based, file-sharing network.  Federal agents obtained and executed a search warrant at Howard’s residence and discovered the hidden camera footage on some of the more than 100 electronic devices they seized.

Howard was working in Kazakhstan when federal agents executed the search warrant at his residence.  After learning of the investigation, Howard attempted to remain in Kazakhstan and avoid facing these charges, but Kazakh authorities arrested him on September 12, 2019.  A Kazakh judge ordered Howard detained pending an extradition request from the United States, which soon followed.  According to the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, Howard’s removal from Kazakhstan is the first extradition to the United States from Kazakhstan.

“For more than a decade, Mr. Howard victimized numerous minors and possessed tens of thousands of child exploitation materials,” said Special Agent in Charge Donald M. Voiret of the FBI Seattle Field Office.  “This case demonstrates that no matter where in the world our subjects may be, the FBI will stop at nothing to hold child predators accountable.”