POCATELLO — New charges have been filed against a Pocatello man already facing three life sentences for lewd conduct with minors.
Trenton Jared Powell, 42, was returned to the custody of the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday when he was arrested on a charge of destruction of evidence.
Powell, who was arrested in November 2020 following an investigation into his accused sexual interactions with teenage girls, posted bail on Dec. 3. But a warrant for his arrest, issued Tuesday, was returned served Wednesday.
The new charge alleges that relatives of Powell, at his request, erased the storage on his cell phone — storage that included lewd photos and videos. Other charges allege that Powell showed the videos to a teenage girl, 14 at the time, in 2009 and 2010.
Pocatello Police officers were issued a search warrant for a cell phone related to Powell on Dec. 28, 2020, according to court documents.
An additional search warrant for the same phone was issued on March 15, 2021.
New documentation shows that on Dec. 2, 2020, Powell made phone calls to relatives from the Bannock County Jail requesting they perform a “remote swipe” of Powell’s iPhone and iCloud account.
In a later call, Powell was told that the wipe had been completed, according to the affidavit.
No one else has been charged in connection to the deletion of the phone’s contents.
Attempts to retrieve the deleted material from Apple Inc. did not return any files containing what detectives called in the affidavit “evidentiary value.”
On Feb 3, 2021, with assistance from a digital forensics examiner with Idaho Falls police, investigators recovered the files, timestamped in 2012, containing images and videos of females in “various states of nudity and sexual acts,” the affidavit says.
For allegedly viewing the images and videos with a teenage girl, a felony charge for sexual abuse of a child has been added against Powell. If he is found guilty, he would face up to 25 years in prison and $50,000 in fines for this charge.
A felony charge for conspiracy has been added to the attempting to destroy evidence charge. Each is punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Due to COVID-related court delays, Powell’s jury trial, which had been scheduled for October, has been rescheduled for Jan. 4.
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