A special agent assigned to the Douglas, Ariz., Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office was honored April 12 by the acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona as part of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
HSI special agent John Shields was among law enforcement officers and prosecutors honored during a ceremony at the U.S Attorney’s Office for their work providing vital support and services to crime victims.
Specifically, through investigative techniques, special agent (SA) Shields was praised for his work for a child exploitation case that lead to the discovery of countless lewd videos depicting sexual abuse of pre-pubescent children while reviewing evidence from a separate child exploitation case in Canada. SA Shields tracked the distribution of the videos to a person in Douglas and determined that the defendant, a former corrections officer in the area, had been producing sexually explicit videos of multiple children and distributing them online. SA Shields secured a 60-year prison sentence, the highest prison sentence for a child exploitation case in southern Arizona. The sentence was aggravated by the facts that SA Shields was able to prove the defendant sexually abused very young children and had engaged in a pattern of sexual exploitation of minors.
“I’m always very proud of the work my agents do day in and day out, but SA Shields’ dedication and professionalism during the course of the investigation went above and beyond his duties,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Arizona. “His tireless efforts paved the way to ensuring a child predator can no longer victimize children; he helped bring the perpetrator of crime to justice. It’s an honor to have SA Shields’ on my team of fine law enforcement professionals.”
“Our office is deeply committed to ensuring that all crime victims are accorded their rights under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, they are protected from further harm, and they receive the support and assistance necessary for recovery,” stated First Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth A. Strange. “We honor all of our law enforcement partners that work with us every day to protect our communities and, today, we specifically recognize outstanding individuals that went above and beyond the call of duty to serve victims of crime or to advocate on their behalf.”