GREAT FALLS, Mont. — An 81-year-old Montana man on Monday admitted he received child pornography after a criminal investigation discovered thousands of such images on his computer and electronic storage devices.
This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme, District of Montana. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Great Falls Police Department.
Lothar Konrad Krauth, 81, from Great Falls, pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography as charged in an indictment. Krauth faces a minimum mandatory five years to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris set sentencing for July 18, 2019, and continued Krauth’s release.
The prosecution said in court records that on Oct. 10, 2018, HSI special agents in Great Falls received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC reported that the user of an internet provider address in Great Falls had uploaded an image of a nude prepubescent male. The internet address was identified as having been assigned to Krauth.
HSI special agents and Great Falls police officers served a search warrant at Krauth’s residence on Oct. 26, 2018, and seized about 20 items of electronic media, including a desktop computer, nine external hard drives, six thumb drives and other items. Investigators then obtained a warrant to search all the seized electronic media.
A forensic examination of Krauth’s desktop computer found about 400 images of child pornography; a subsequent analysis found thousands more such images. The majority of the discovered child pornography images depicted prepubescent children.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tom Bartleson and Cyndee Peterson, District of Montana, prosecuted this case.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 19,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2018, more than 3,000 (3,191) child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 850 (859) victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.