Burnell Thomas Rhodes Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on October 13, 2010, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, BURNELL THOMAS RHODES, a 31-year-old resident of Missoula, pled guilty to receipt of child pornography. Sentencing has been set for January 13, 2011. 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:
The Missoula Police Department obtained a search warrant for RHODES' residence, and, during the search, identified RHODES as the suspect. The agents seized a desktop computer, a laptop computer, and an external hard drive.
When interviewed, RHODES admitted he had been downloading child pornography.
The computers and hard drive were analyzed and child pornography was located on all three items. Collectively, 55 videos and a few images depicting child pornography were discovered. The examiner determined the external hard drive had been connected to one of the computers and some of the videos had been recently played. The examiner stated the creation date range of the files on all media was February 2, 2007, through October 23, 2009.
RHODES 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, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Missoula County Sheriff's Office.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.