Texas Man Caught in Oklahoma Child Porn Sting Sentenced in Federal Court

Last fall, FBI agents conducting a child pornography sting out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, identified a Texas man who made at least 214 child pornography files available on a file sharing network. FBI agents, the Corpus Christi Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, and the Portland (Texas) Police Department launched an investigation into the activities of Richard R. Montez, 32. In October, the FBI served a search warrant at Montez's home, where they discovered on his laptop more 750 items of child pornography, including 250 videos and more than 500 images. Montez pleaded guilty in February of this year to a single count of distribution of child pornography. Yesterday, he was sentenced for his crime. Senior United States District Judge John D. Rainey sentenced Montez to 97 months (just over 8 years) in federal prison followed by 10 years of supervised probation. According to an FBI press release, during Montez's probation, he will be required "to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet." The Montez case came as a result of a United States Department of Justice initiative called "Project Safe Childhood," one of several federal government programs designed to prevent and punish the sexual exploitation of children. The Justice Department describes Project Safe Childhood as follows:

Project Safe Childhood is a Department of Justice initiative launched in 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. The threat of sexual predators soliciting children for physical sexual contact is well-known and serious, and the danger of perpetrators who produce, distribute, and possess child pornography is equally, if not more, dramatic and disturbing. There is often an international dimension to these crimes such as when offenders travel to victimize children outside of the United States or view live video streams (in addition to recorded still and video images) of children being abused in foreign countries.

In 2011, the scope of Project Safe Childhood expanded to include not only internet sex crimes against children, but also child sex trafficking involving minors under 18, crimes committed against children in tribal territory, and failure to register as a sex offender. Learn more about Project Safe Childhood and the number of defendants prosecuted under its actions and investigations here. Late last month, a woman from Burns Flat, Oklahoma, was sentenced on federal child pornography charges after an investigation by the Oklahoma Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) task force. Laura Jean Shoulders, 47, was sentenced to 327 months (more than 27 years) in prison after she was convicted of taking video of herself sexually abusing a one-year-old baby she was babysitting and sending the videos to a man she "met" on Craigslist.

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