BILLINGS, Mont. — A Montana man was sentenced Thursday to seven years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.
The U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme, District of Montana, announced this sentence. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation, and other federal, state and local agencies.
Matthew Stoney Olson, from Circle, Montana, was previously convicted at trial of receiving and possessing child pornography. In early 2015, Olson routinely received child pornography by downloading it via a peer-to-peer sharing network. During that time, HSI special agents became aware of these downloads and obtained a search warrant for Olson’s home. Results of the search warrant discovered a large number of pictures and videos depicting child pornography on Olson’s personal computer.
In a sentencing memorandum filed in federal court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin Rubich stated that Olson represented a “predatory danger to the community” due to his “unwillingness to acknowledge his crimes and his refusal to seek treatment.”
U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme stated, “Children have the right to grow up free from exploitation by adults who film them and those who drive the market by purchasing the films. We encourage all Montanans to report situations to law enforcement where children may be at risk.”
U.S. District Judge Susan Watters sentenced Olson to seven years in federal prison, with five years of supervised release to follow. Because there is no parole in the federal system, Olson will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Olson does have the opportunity to shorten the term of custody by earning credit for good behavior. However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.
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 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 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.