News and Press Releases

Robert Lee Isbell Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula, on December 18, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, ROBERT LEE ISBELL, a 39-year-old resident of Seeley Lake, appeared for sentencing. ISBELL was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 72 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Forfeitures: computers
  • Supervised Release: 15 years

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

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.

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

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



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