On 8/24/2016 Lake Havasu City Police Department received a Tip from National Center for Missing and Exploited Children cyber tipline. The tip provided to them by CHATSTEP was registered to Joel Cosmano, whom had uploaded an image believe to be Child Pornography on 7/26. Lake Havasu City PD drafted a subpoena for the IP Address on the report and requested subscriber information for the date and time surrounding the time frame the image was uploaded. The subpoena was submitted to the County Attorneys Office for review and was signed by the Deputy County Attorney on 8/30. The subpoena was then submitted to the legal compliance company. On 9/13 the subpoena response returned with Cosmano’s address on Warm Springs Drive, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406. Several resources were utilized to confirm the residence belonging to the suspect.
On 9/15 a search warrant was signed by Honorable Judge Kalauli authorizing the search of the residence. At approximately 5:35 PM detectives from the Criminal Investigations Bureau arrived at the address. A knock on the front door was answered by Cosmano. After being read his Miranda Rights, he advised the following: He has uploaded several photos and videos online containing child pornography, he saves the images to a thumb drive which is located in his nightstand next to his bed in the master bedroom, he knows he has a problem and knew it was only a matter of time before he got caught.
Joel was a certified foster parent through the department of child safety. He has fostered eleven children over the last few years and in addition has legally adopted two young girls ages 4 and 2.
D.C.S. was notified. The children and a female at the residence were relocated while the search warrant was conducted in which electronic items including computers, tablets and cell phones were taken. Items of electronic data storage were also seized to include the thumbdrive joel advised had all the child pornography which was located where he stated.
The search concluded at 8:00 PM and the electronics were reviewed at the Police Department which contained dozens of images and videos consisting of young females performing sex acts (oral sex, solo masturbation, vaginal and anal intercourse). Police say the children were very young, as young as 5 or 6 years old. The thumb drive was only briefly reviewed to establish an estimated guess at the number of children images/videos for charging purposes.
Joel Matthew Cosmono, 48, of Lake Havasu City was charged with 10 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.