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Child Exploitation

Montana man sentenced to 6 years in federal prison for distributing child pornography

MISSOULA, Mont. – A Montana man was sentenced Wednesday to six years in federal prison for distributing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter, District of Montana.

This investigation was a cooperative effort between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Missoula Police Department, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, the Bozeman Police Department, and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

Christopher Anthony Quinn, 49, from Troy, was sentenced to 72 months in prison and 15 years of supervised release. He will also forfeit the laptop computers and thumb drives he used to download, store and distribute child pornography.

Quinn was sentenced June 12 following his guilty plea to distributing child pornography.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

  • In March 2012, the Missoula Police Department, a member of the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, investigated Quinn for trading child pornography via the Internet.
  • During the investigation, the detective determined that on Feb. 6, 2012, Quinn used his email address and laptop to email an image to a Yahoo! email account. The image depicted two girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct. That email text stated: "I have some different sets. Here are a few samples. Just let me know what you like."
  • A search warrant of Quinn’s residence in Lincoln County was obtained and numerous related child pornography images were seized.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that Quinn will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Quinn does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.

The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

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, 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and current chair 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.