News and Press Releases

Burnell Thomas Rhodes Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on January 12, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, BURNELL THOMAS RHODES, a 31-year-old resident of Missoula, appeared for sentencing. RHODES was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 72 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 10 years

RHODES 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:

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.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that RHODES will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, RHODES 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, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Missoula County Sheriff's Office.



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