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Lost phone leads to federal conviction for possession of child sex abuse materials

In 2019, Yellowstone concessionaire employee reportedly lost his phone in Fort Collins, where police found the images.


CASPER, Wyo. — An investigation by the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch and Colorado police led to the conviction of a Canadian man for possession of child sex abuse materials.

Sabin Francis Donohoe, 26, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, was sentenced to 30 months in prison by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Nancy D. Freudenthal on Thursday, Jun. 13, according to a release by the U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday.

Donohoe was a seasonal employee for a concessionaire in Yellowstone National Park in 2019, the case record showed. In August 2019, he lost his phone while visiting Fort Collins, Colorado, for a weekend with his girlfriend.

“Someone found the phone and saw child pornography on it while trying to identify the owner. They handed it over to the Loveland Police Department,” the release said. “The Loveland Police Department secured a search warrant and saw evidence of child pornography and a text message to call a number if the phone was found. The number belonged to Donohoe’s girlfriend.”

The woman reportedly identified Donohoe as the phone’s owner and gave the officer, who concealed his identity at the time, their address in Yellowstone. 

Officers from the Loveland Police Department then contacted the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch, and a joint investigation began. Detectives conducted a noncustodial interview of Donohoe. 

“The next day he fled to Canada,” the Justice Department said. “He was eventually arrested in Canada on Jul. 25, 2022, and extradited back to the U.S. on Nov. 27, 2023, to face charges.”

The crime was investigated by the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch, the Loveland Police Department and Yellowstone law enforcement officers. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christyne M. Martens.