News and Press Releases

Robert Lee Isbell Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula on September 21, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, ROBERT LEE ISBELL, a 39-year-old resident of Seeley Lake, pled guilty to receipt of child pornography. Sentencing is set for December 18, 2009. He is currently released on special conditions.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

In July of 2007, it was reported to the Missoula Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that ISBELL had child pornography on his computer. An FBI agent investigated the report and obtained a search warrant for ISBELL'S residence. The warrant was served on July 10, 2007. Several computers and miscellaneous other items were seized. ISBELL was present and was interviewed at the residence.

ISBELL admitted he started viewing child pornography on the Internet about 2 years prior. He also admitted he downloaded and viewed child pornography.

ISBELL'S computers and media were forensically analyzed. The examiners found child pornography on ISBELL'S Dell computer, which had 2 hard drives.

The child pornography images were viewed by an agent who determined ISBELL had 106 image files and 8 movies files of child pornography. Approximately 50% of the images depicted pre-pubescent children. The images also depicted bondage/violence. T he agent also located other relevant evidence: 222 images of child erotica and thousands of files contained drawings or cartoon images depicting sexually explicit images of adults and children, including child bondage and urination. The agent was able to identify 12 image files which contained known child victims.

ISBELL 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

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Missoula Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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



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