Joshua Allen Morgan Plead Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on April 11, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, JOSHUA ALLEN MORGAN, a 28-years-old resident of Billings, pled guilty to receipt of child pornography. Sentencing has been set for July 12, 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:
On August 5, 2011, the Madison County Sheriff's Office received a report about Internet activity from a concerned parent. The parent reported that his fifteen-year-old daughter met MORGAN on the Internet and had been communicating inappropriately with him for the past few months. She reported that she had taken sexually explicit pictures of herself at MORGAN's urging and sent them to him via the Internet and computer on numerous occasions during approximately the last three months.
MORGAN knew that the girl was only 15, and he portrayed himself as a 20-year-old man from Billings. In fact, MORGAN is 27-years-old and on federal supervised release for being a felon-in-possession of a firearm. MORGAN told the girl how to pose in sexually explicit poses, and she did so, using Facebook to message and send the photos to MORGAN in Billings. Because the girl is only 15-years-old, the images constitute child pornography and MORGAN used the Internet and computer, instrumentalities of interstate commerce, to receive them.
MORGAN faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations, the Helena Police Department, the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation, and the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.