The wheels of justice sometimes turn agonizingly slow, especially for victims and the families of victims of heinous crimes, but the wheels do turn, and the perpetrators will be caught, charged, and brought to justice. Even if the suspect is in a place that has NEVER extradited someone to the United States.

49-year old Trent Drexel Howard of West Richland was in a federal courtroom today facing a plethora of charges related to child pornography after his return to the United States from Kazakhstan.

A U.S. Attorney said, “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington is grateful to the Kazakhstan authorities for their assistance in bringing Howard back to the United States to face these charges. Likewise, the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in securing defendant Howard’s extradition from Kazakhstan, as did State Department partners.”

In June of 2019, an Eastern Washington federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against Howard and issued a warrant for his arrest on the charges of distribution, receipt, attempted production and possession of child pornography.

The latest court documents say Howard was working in Kazakhstan when federal agents executed a search warrant at his residence and retrieved several electronic devices. When Howard caught wind that the jig was up, he purposely stayed in Kazakhstan until he was eventually arrested by Kazakh authorities on September 12, 2019. A judge there ordered Howard be detained pending an extradition request from America. According to the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, Howard’s removal from Kazakhstan is the first extradition from that country by the United States.

Then, in January of this year, the Eastern Washington grand jury returned a 15-count superseding indictment, adding additional charges of production and attempted production of child pornography involving 12 minor victims.

His alleged crimes are punishable by a mandatory minimum 15 year prison sentence, a $250,000 fine for each count, and a life term of supervised release following any prison sentence.