News and Press Releases

Denise Marsh Carlson Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls on June 15, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, DENISE MARSH CARLSON, a 47-year-old resident of Plentywood, pled guilty to receipt of child pornography. Sentencing is set for September 21, 2009. She is currently detained.

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

Agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were investigating allegations of child pornography access by users utilizing the peer-to-peer file sharing network. One investigation involved a person in Plentywood who had child pornography available to share via a file sharing program beginning in 2008. The computer IP address was tracked to the CARLSON residence of Plentywood.

In October of 2008, a search warrant was served on the CARLSON home. Agents spoke with CARLSON'S husband and minor children, all of whom reported that they did not use file sharing software. They reported that their mother, CARLSON, also had a computer and that she was working in Billings as a travel nurse. Agents in Billings went to the residence where CARLSON was residing and spoke with her. When questioned, CARLSON admitted that she used the peer-to-peer file sharing program Limewire to receive and possess hundreds of child pornography videos and images from approximately 1999 through the present.

Agents seized various computer equipment and subsequent forensic examination revealed hundreds of images and movies of child pornography that CARLSON had received via the Internet during 1999 through 2008 and continued to possess until the equipment was seized. CARLSON possessed images and movies of children clearly prepubescent and children engaged in sadistic or masochistic abuse or other depictions of violence.

CARLSON faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 20 years, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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