In a press release, Phillip A. Talbert, the acting U.S. attorney for the Department of Justice’s Eastern District of California, said court documents indicate that on Nov. 1, 2019, an undercover agent observed Kevin Blaine Cline post on the social media platform Whisper that said he was “Looking for dad’s (sic) who love their daughters near me I … Have a question.” The notation at the bottom of Cline’s post read, “Freaky Sexual Desires.”
The undercover agent, posing as a dad, engaged in a two-day conversation on Whisper with Cline, and Cline sent the agent two images of child pornography. Cline planned a meeting with the “dad” and “daughter” in order to sexually molest her. Cline then drove from Fairfield to Pleasant Hill to meet up with what he believed to be a 7‑year-old girl. When Cline arrived, however, he was placed under arrest.
Facts in the plea agreement detail a description of the sexual activity Cline wanted to engage in with the girl, as well as sexual acts he planned to perform with a 10-year-old girl in Washington state, noted Talbert.
Cline brought a tube of lubricant and three wrapped condoms in his car when he arrived to meet with what he believed to be the father and his 7-year-old daughter. In the week before his arrest, Cline was distributing files containing visual depictions of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct with other people through Whisper messenger.
“Cline attempted to commit vile acts on children, and he may have continued undetected for years but for the painstaking work of the investigators who brought him to justice,” Talbert said in the prepared statement. “We are gratified by the sentence he received today, which will help prevent him from harming other children.”
Tatum King, a Homeland Security Investigations special agent in charge, called the case an example of coordination among several law enforcement agencies. Besides HSI, they included the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Talbert’s office, “which led to this guilty plea and the ultimate rescue of a child in another region,”
“Parents and caregivers are urged to engage with their children on the potential dangers of social media interaction and to alert law enforcement authorities if they have any concerns,” added King, citing additional information available at HSI iGuardians and NCMEC Netsmartz.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina McCall prosecuted the case, which stemmed from an investigation by SVICAC, a federally and state-funded task force, with agents from federal, state, and local agencies, that investigates online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement, and sex trafficking.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the DOJ to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the criminal division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC brings together federal, state, and local resources to find, apprehend and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims, Talbert pointed out.
For more information about PSC, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.