BIG ARM, MT – A Big Arm man who admitted making child pornography videos and sending an image to an undercover agent was sentenced today to 20 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $43,307 restitution to the victim, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Billy Dean Smith, 56, pleaded guilty on July 23 to sexual exploitation of a child.
U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy presided.
In court documents filed in the case, the prosecution said that in January, an undercover FBI agent was investigating a KIK chat group known to exchange child pornography. KIK is a mobile phone app that allows users to exchange instant messages over the internet. In messages exchanged with the undercover agent, Smith described sexually abusing a girl, who was under the age of 18. Smith sent a sexually explicit image of the victim to the undercover agent. Agents obtained a search warrant for Smith’s cell phone, seized it and analyzed its contents. A forensic examiner located the sexually explicit image that Smith had sent the agent. The examiner also located other videos and images of the victim. The images were created in January and February using the cell phone. Smith admitted he had filmed the sexually explicit videos of the victim.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee Peterson prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations.
This case was initiated under the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative, which was launched in 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. Through a network of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations, Project Safe Childhood attempts to protect children by investigating and prosecuting offenders involved in child sexual exploitation. It is implemented through partnerships including the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The ICAC Task Force Program was created to assist state and local law enforcement agencies by enhancing their investigative response to technology facilitated crimes against children.