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Richland man receives 21-year sentence on federal child pornography charge

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 23, 2020

A 30-year-old Richland man who investigators say participated in a scheme to drug teenage boys and film sex acts with them will spend 21 years in federal prison, a judge ruled Thursday.

Beau Thomas Upton pleaded guilty to production of child pornography in July. He was one of several defendants arrested following a joint investigation by local and federal law enforcement in the Tri-Cities that led to the discovery of a 14-year-old victim, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Eastern Washington. Investigators also discovered what was described as a makeshift studio, where the men filmed the sexual acts with a MacBook propped up on a wooden box.

“Today’s sentencing hearing brings to a close the investigations into three individuals who engaged in truly heinous sexual abuse of minors,” William Hyslop, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said in a statement.

Zayne Barbre, 28, was previously sentenced to 28 years in prison for his role in the scheme. Ryan Alexander, 25, received a 25-year sentence.

U.S. District Court Judge Salvador Mendoza ordered Upton to serve a 40-year period of supervision following his release. Upton will be required to register as a sex offender.

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