News and Press Releases

Anthony Steven Rodriguez Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, November 18, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on November 18, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, ANTHONY STEVEN RODRIGUEZ, a 36-year-old resident of Moreland, Georgia, appeared for sentencing. RODRIGUEZ was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 294 months

Special Assessment: $300

Forfeiture: computer equipment

Supervised Release: life

RODRIGUEZ was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to exploit children, sexual exploitation of children and conspiracy to distribute child pornography.

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:

On December 6, 2010, law enforcement in Helena received a phone call from a mother concerned about her ten-year-old son's computer activity. She reported that, unbeknownst to her, the child had created a YouTube account used to socialize with others via the Internet. Law enforcement received permission to take over the child's account and found that a user "funandfreaky 7," distributed numerous videos to the child that were child pornography, i.e., children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. "Funandfreaky 7" pretended to be a preteen girl sending videos of "herself" and asked the boy to do the same. The movies sent to the boy were of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct and they were sent via computer and the Internet.

Funandfreaky 7" asked the Helena child to produce images of himself engaged in sexually explicit conduct and continued to distribute videos of the same to him over several days in December 2010.

When interviewed, the child reported that he had received a 'friend' request from "funandfreaky 7" asking to be friends and sending him a video of a preteen girl shown with her pants down exposing her vagina. The child made several videos of himself pulling up his shirt and pulling down his pants at "funandfreaky 7's" request. "Funandfreaky 7" pretended to be a female preteen and the two conversed for a period of time. The child admitted making sexually explicit videos of himself and sending them to "funandfreaky 7."

Law enforcement was able to identify "funandfreaky 7" as RODRIGUEZ and Robert Shane Wilkins, not eleven-year-old girls, but a pair of adult men, one in Alabama and one in Georgia who both accessed the "funandfreaky 7" account while the child pornography was distributed and who used the child in Helena to produce child pornography images. Search warrants were served on each residence on the morning of December 16, 2010.

Wilkins was interviewed and confessed to being "mrslyfan98," communicating with RODRIGUEZ on the "funandfreaky 7" account, and admitted to asking for videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, distributing child pornography via the account by uploading those videos to the account to be distributed to kids, and agreeing with RODRIGUEZ to use children to self-produce sexually explicit videos. RODRIGUEZ was interviewed and admitted the same. Numerous items of computer equipment was seized, including computers that contained child pornography.

RODRIGUEZ and Wilkins used the Internet and computers, instrumentalities of interstate commerce, to conspire to sexually exploit the Helena child, to actually sexually exploit the Helena child by using him to produce child pornography videos, and by distributing child pornography videos to him.

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

Wilkins pled guilty to federal charges and has been sentenced.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the Helena Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Helena and Georgia, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.



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