Patrick Astore Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on September 30, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, PATRICK ASTORE, a 70-year-old resident of Helena, pled guilty to viewing child pornography. Sentencing has been set for January 6, 2012. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In 2001, ASTORE pled guilty to receipt and possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to 108 months in prison followed by 5 years supervised release. He was released from prison in August 2008 and was supervised by the U.S. Probation Office in Helena.
On February 25, 2011, following a tip, ASTORE's residence was searched by probation officers. A computer and thumb drive were seized and ASTORE admitted that he had been surfing the Internet looking for pornographic images of females under the age of 18 years.
A forensic analysis found a small number of images of child pornography in Internet cache and unallocated space on ASTORE's computer, along with numerous search terms for child pornography. The thumb drive contained a number of URLs and links to child pornography web sites. ASTORE viewed the child pornography using the Internet and computer and thumb drive.
ASTORE faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 10 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Probation and Parole, and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.