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Child Exploitation
06/09/2017

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Washington man receives 5 years in child pornography case

SPOKANE, Wash. – A Spokane Valley man was sentenced in federal court Friday to five years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release for distribution of child pornography, after an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Thomas J. Montieth, 65, was discovered by an undercover HSI special agent while using peer-to-peer file sharing software to distribute child pornography images from July 22 to Aug. 5, 2016. HSI special agents executed a federal search warrant Sep. 7 at Montieth’s residence where they discovered his desktop computer and flash drive contained 21,244 images and 394 videos of child pornography. 

Montieth pleaded guilty April 4 to using online software to distribute and collect child pornography files. Upon release from prison, he will be required to register as a sex offender.

“The ceaseless efforts of our HSI special agents to identify criminals who target youth for sexual gratification are critical steps in making Washington communities safer,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle. “This case is an example of how HSI, in partnership with the Department of Justice, will continue to track, investigate and prosecute predators to the fullest extent of the law.”

The case was prosecuted by Stephanie J. Lister, an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Project Safe Childhood coordinator for the Eastern District of Washington.

“Prosecuting offenders who possess and distribute child pornography is a priority for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington,” said Joseph H. Harrington, acting U.S. attorney. “The United States Attorney’s Office is, and will continue to be, committed to prosecuting aggressively and seeking appropriate punishment for child pornography crimes.”

The charges in this case are a product of Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice initiative launched in 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, and HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators.

Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 14,000 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 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

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