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Belgrade man sentenced to 20 years for child porn

Whitehead must also pay $3,000 in restitution
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Posted at 2:36 PM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 16:36:04-04

A Belgrade man was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday after pleading guilty in March to distribution and receipt of child porn.

John Michael Whitehead, 36, was also sentenced to 20 years of supervised release to be served after he completes his prison term; he must also pay $3,000 restitution to one of the victims, according to U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme.

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“Child pornography crimes will not be tolerated in Montana and those who seek to harm children for sexual gratification will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Every person who distributes or receives child pornography re-injures the victims,” Alme said in a press release.

According to the release, in December 2018, an undercover FBI agent began chatting with Whitehead in an online group known to distribute sexually explicit images of children. Whitehead reportedly sent the agent an image of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The release said in January, Whitehead sent the agent a video of a prepubescent child engaged in sexually explicit conduct with an adult man.

Agents obtained and executed a search warrant, seizing two smart phones, among other items, from Whitehead's residence. The phones contained sexually explicit pictures and videos of children, according to the release. Whitehead also reportedly told agents in an interview he had been using an app on his phone to trade child porn.

Chief U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided over the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee Peterson.

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, FBI, Homeland Security Investigations and the Washington D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigated the case.