CANYON COUNTY – On Monday, Canyon County Deputies responded to a residence in Nampa for a runaway report involving an 11-year-old female. After deputies exhausted efforts to find her through friends and school administrators, the Sheriff’s Office searched the child’s cell phone records and discovered she had frequently been communicating with an unknown individual with a California phone number.  

Through further investigation, CCSO deputies and detectives were able to locate the 11-year-old child at a local hotel along with a 20-year-old male from California. The 20-year-old male, identified as Brian Sangjoon Lee of Granada Hills, California, was detained by deputies and transported to the Sheriff’s Office for additional questioning.

During the interview process with Lee, detectives determined that he had initially met the 11-year-old through an online gaming program, and then the two began communicating by phone and text message. Eventually, an agreement was made that he would travel to Idaho from the Los Angeles area to pick her up and return to his home with her.  

Lee was charged with first-degree kidnapping and is currently being held in the Canyon County Jail on a $1,000,0000 bond. The investigation remains ongoing and additional charges are possible.

“I want to commend my deputies and detectives for their quick action in investigating this case and bringing the defendant into custody,” said Sheriff Kieran Donahue. “Their actions very likely saved this young girl’s life. Words cannot express my gratitude for their work in stopping what could have ended in a very grave situation for this poor girl. This case also serves as a stark reminder to all parents about the dangers online predators pose to children in our community and across the nation. Whether people want to believe it or not, human and sex trafficking certainly exists in the Treasure Valley and throughout Idaho and beyond. We have to take the blinders off and address these issues with all resources available to us.”

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