Watertown native arrested on child sex charges in Los Angeles while attempting to flee country

August 29, 2023

Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–Watertown native Jeffrey Koistinen was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport this month while on a layover flight from Tucson, Arizona to the Philippines in an apparent attempt to avoid prosecution on criminal charges.

Tucson, Arizona police and Homeland Security Investigations became aware of Koistinen’s flight plans, which were in violation of his conditional bond on charges of possessing child pornography.

Authorities had obtained a search warrant that was executed on Koistinen’s cell phone, which found four images of child pornography; one still image and three videos.

Koistinen’s release conditions specifically prohibited out of state travel from Arizona, and court documents allege, “the state has found nothing in the court record which demonstrates the defendant asked for, or received, the court’s permission to travel to Los Angeles and/or the Phillipines.”

Additionally, prosecutors allege that the 58 year-old Koistinen was, “involved in a conspiracy conducting an illegal enterprise, unlawfully manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale.”

Court documents indicate Koistinen was financing the illegal marijuana operation with his two adult children by using two properties owned by Koistinen, “to build marijuana grows inside the houses, and the crops were well above the lawful amount (allowed) for personal use.”

Prosecutors say Koistinen has, “substantial wealth, an incentive to flee and owns multiple properties in other countries, including the Philippines.” They say Koistinen, “has sold businesses in the past, which has helped him accumulate this wealth, that he does not have traditional employment, and instead creates businesses when he wants to generate income.”

In summarizing their motion to modify Koistinen’s release, prosecutors say Koistinen, “has knowledge of international travel, the ability and means to leave the state of Arizona, and that it is unlikely that he would remain in contact with the court.”

Prosecutors requested bond for Koistinen be set at $750,000 cash, that his passport remain in the custody of law enforcement, and that he be ordered not to obtain another passport.