Child sex crimes

Bischak, left, and Frodsham

SIERRA VISTA — Two local men, one a soldier stationed on Fort Huachuca and the other a former foster parent, have been taken into custody following an investigation into alleged sexual activity with children.

The arrests of Spec. Randall Bischak, 25, and David Frodsham, 59, come after a months-long investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and other U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel into the transferring of child pornography using cellphone applications.

A probable cause statement submitted with Frodsham’s arrest contains details about the investigation and indicates that the two men would meet for consensual sexual activity, and that Frodsham would provide underage children for Bischak to have sexual contact with.

Both men were taken into custody on Thursday, with Bischak handed over to ICE and Frodsham’s case being handled by Sierra Vista police.

The investigation began in December, when an HSI agent in Philadelphia investigating activity conducted through a smartphone communication application found a user posting sexually explicit material featuring children.

The application’s parent company was subpoenaed for the user’s information and investigators obtained the user’s IP address and narrowed his physical location to Sierra Vista.

In March, after submitting a summons to Cox Communications for the account information associated with the user’s known IP address, ICE agents learned the account was owned by Bischak, and that he resided in Sierra Vista.

Reviewing publicly available social media accounts, investigators learned that Bischak is a musician and a member of the military.

Federal agents conducted surveillance on Bischak’s home in the 1500 block of Paseo La Paz in Sierra Vista and, on April 14, served a search warrant there, seizing computers, cellphones, tablets and CDs.

During an interview with federal investigators, Bischak said he had engaged in consensual sex with a 59-year-old man named Dave, who was later identified by investigators as Frodsham.

Bischak said the two also discussed engaging in sexual activity with children, claiming that at one point Frodsham sent a very young child into the bathroom where Bischak was, in order for Bischak to have sexual contact with the child, according to the probable cause statement.

A review of digital and text messages sent from Bischak’s phone found conversations between himself and Frodsham in which they discuss Frodsham bringing children with him when the two men would meet for sex. There were also messages from Bischak to other individuals in which he claims to have had sex with children.

Based on this and other information, Sierra Vista Detective Tom Ransford obtained a search warrant for Frodsham’s residence in the 1200 block of Sunflower Way.

Frodsham consented to an interview with police prior to being placed under arrest, during which he admitting to knowing Bischak and communicating with him over text messages. He also admitted to bringing young children to Bischak’s home when the two would have sex in a separate room, and of sending him photos of young children Frodsham was watching, but denied possessing or distributing child pornography or involving children in any sexual activity.

Frodsham was arrested on Thursday on charges of sexual conduct with a minor, conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Doug Nick, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Child Safety, said Frodsham was a certified foster parent in Arizona from 2002 until January 2015.

“At that point his license was suspended and closed,” Nick said. Confidentiality laws prevent him from explaining why Frodsham’s license was suspended.

Bischak joined the Army in July 2012 and has served in the Military Intelligence Corps Band on Fort Huachuca since July 2015, said Tanja Linton, media relations officer for the installation. Linton also confirmed that Bischak is now also under investigation by Fort Huachuca authorities.

Detective Ransford is leading the investigation into Frodsham.

“It’s an ongoing investigation and we’re looking for additional victims and suspects, which will depend a lot on the digital media information retrieved from the search warrant conducted on Sunflower Way,” he said.

In his probable cause statement, Ransford notes that there are hundreds of cellphone videos of Bischak engaging in sexual activity with multiple other individuals, but it is not specified if these videos included children.

Investigators are working to identify as many possible victims, or possible suspects, in connection to these individuals.

“We are interviewing any child that has ever had any kind of contact with Mr. Frodsham, and the digital investigation in continuing,” Ransford said.

Federal investigators have taken the lead on Bischak’s case, while local investigators are still working to determine how long Frodsham’s alleged abuse has been occurring.

“We’ll follow the leads where they go, but right now we’re just focusing on the last few months. Eventually, we will get to some point where we believe it began,” he said.

Use of cellphone applications and other Internet-based technology by criminals to exchange child pornography is not uncommon, according to the detective.

“Technology is always being exploited by criminals. The introduction of various phone applications and computer applications only expands their ability to transmit and receive this type of material,” Ransford said.

The use of this technology can both make it easier and more difficult for investigators to conduct an investigation such as this.

“Sometimes it’s easier to track an individual when they’re using the Internet to transmit information and sometimes access to the individual is troublesome, based on a number of factors: The cooperation of the ISP, the timeliness of the information received, the honesty of the individuals when they sign up for those applications,” he said.

While Bischak remains in federal custody, Frodsham has been booked into the Cochise County Jail where he remained on a $500,000 bond.

Sierra Vista police are asking for anyone with information about possible unidentified victims to contact Ransford at (520) 452-7500.