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Lake Co. man arrested for child pornography, sexual exploitation

Billy Dean Smith, 55, of Big Arm faces several felony charges
Posted: 2:35 PM, Feb 10, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-10 16:35:40-05
Lake county man arrested for child pornography and sexual exploitation

A Lake County man was arrested last week and accused of providing child pornography to an undercover FBI Agent.

Billy Dean Smith, 55, of Big Arm, is charged with the following felonies; sexual exploitation of a child, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

In charging documents filed in U.S. District Court of Montana, the investigation began when a FBI Special Agent was working undercover and was investigating an on-going online child exploitation case.

The undercover agent was a member of the Kik group where some of the members are known to discuss the online exploitation of children and trade child pornography.

The FBI agent was advised one of the members resided in Montana, later identified as Billy Dean Smith, as one of the members accused of distributing child pornography.

During the investigation, Smith indicated to the undercover agent through online communications that he resided with the 12 year old female in Big Arm.

Through Smith's online communication with the undercover agent, Smith indicated the child portrayed in the files he was sending to the undercover agent, was the child in his home.

In video sent to the undercover agent on Jan. 28 it showed the girl's genitals. Then on Feb. 2, video sent showed an adult man masturbating over the girl while she slept.

A federal search warrant was obtained for Smith's residence in Big Arm, his person and vehicle on Feb. 6. One day later, agents stopped Smith in his vehicle and seized his cellphone.

An agent reviewed files on Smith's phone and identified files that depicted the 12-year-old girl including the files described in court documents.

The investigation is on-going according to the charging documents, which includes an interview with the child, a search of Smith's home and a computer forensic analysis of his cellphone.

Smith made his initial court appearance on the three charges on Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen DeSoto.

Smith is currently being held in the Missoula County Detention Center.