News and Press Releases

Donald John Mullen Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on April 15, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, DONALD JOHN MULLEN, a 21-year-old resident of Miles City, appeared for sentencing. MULLEN was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 97 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: life

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

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

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were investigating allegations of child pornography access by users utilizing the peer-to-peer file sharing network. One investigation involved a person in Corvallis who had child pornography available to share via a file sharing program beginning in May 2008. An agent with the Wyoming Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force downloaded numerous images of child pornography from that computer. After a search warrant was served on the residence and the computer seized, agents determined that the resident's grandson, MULLEN, had used the computer and was now living in Miles City. Agents then determined MULLEN's computer IP address in Miles City and using the peer-to-peer file sharing program Limewire, agents established a direct connection with his IP address on several occasions and attempted to download several apparent child pornography files.

On May 8, 2009, agents obtained a federal search warrant on MULLEN's residence in Miles City and seized his computer equipment. A subsequent forensic examination revealed hundreds of images and movies of child pornography that MULLEN had received via the Internet during 2008 and continued to possess until the equipment was seized. MULLEN had images and movies of children clearly prepubescent and children engaged in sadistic or masochistic abuse or other depictions of violence.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that MULLEN will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, MULLEN 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 conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Department of Justice launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit



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