News and Press Releases

Duval County Resident Sentenced to 60 Months in Federal Prison for Receipt of Child Pornography

October 3 , 2011

Jacksonville, FL - U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard today sentenced Leighton Thomas Montalto (58, Jacksonville) to 60 months in federal prison and seven years of supervised release for receipt of child pornography. The Court further ordered Montalto to register under federal and state law as a sex offender and to forfeit computer media used as part of the crime. Montalto pled guilty on May 23, 2011.

According to court documents, on February 25, 2009, an FBI Task Force Officer (TFO) from the Southern Illinois Cyber Crimes Task Force conducted an online, undercover child pornography investigation. Using file sharing software, the TFO directly connected to an IP address that was sharing and making available for downloading over the internet approximately 287 files. The list of files included numerous file names consistent with child pornography and pedophilia. The TFO downloaded fourteen files from the user of this IP address, reviewed the files, and determined that all fourteen images contained child pornography.

A follow up investigation identified Montalto as offering the child pornography over the internet. On December 15, 2009, law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at Montalto’s residence and seized several items of computer media. A subsequent computer forensic examination by the FBI of the items seized determined Montalto downloaded images of child pornography from the internet and saved them to his computer. In total, the seized computer media contained approximately 1,400 images of child pornography.

This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Frein.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "other resources."



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