News and Press Releases

Paul Blinkinsop Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on March 12, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, PAUL BLINKINSOP, a 31-year-old resident of Great Falls, appeared for sentencing. BLINKINSOP was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 97 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 5 years

BLINKINSOP was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to receipt of child pornography.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

The Wyoming Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force initiated an operation targeting peer-to-peer file sharing networks offering child pornography. In February 2008, it was determined that a computer utilizing an IP address assigned to BLINKINSOP had images of child pornography available to other peer to peer users.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations along with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents followed up the lead by interviewing BLINKINSOP, who admitted to using the LimeWire file sharing program. He also admitted that he had seen child pornography and that he had used search terms such as 'teenage' and schoolgirl' in searching for pornography.

A forensic analysis of BLINKINSOP'S computer and storage devices revealed more than 600 images of child pornography including 42 videos. The images included depictions of children under the age of twelve and penetration. The videos had file creation dates ranging from April 2003 through February 2008. BLINKINSOP used the Internet to download the images and ultimately moved and saved them to electronic storage devices.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that BLINKINSOP will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, BLINKINSOP does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Lahr prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.



Return to Top

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.