Dennis Alan Brister Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on July 2, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, DENNIS ALAN BRISTER, a 50-year-old resident of Missoula, pled guilty to receipt of child pornography. Sentencing has been set for October 24, 2012. He is currently detained.
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:
On December 2, 2011, BRISTER was on probation was also a registered sex offender. During a probation check-in, BRISTER admitted he had been around a 3-year-old child which was prohibited by his probation conditions. BRISTER was arrested, and his home was searched. Officers found a new computer box/manual but no computer. BRISTER would not disclose the location of the computer. The probation officer ultimately located the computer at BRISTER's friend's house. The friend disclosed that BRISTER dropped off the computer on the way to his probation check-in and asked him to hang onto it.
The computer and two MicroSD cards were seized and forensically examined. The examiner located images of child pornography (i.e. minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct) on the computer. The examiner also located Internet browsing activity which indicated an interest in child pornography. For example, in the AOL and Bing search engines, "illegal preteen PICS underground lolitas", "ilegal underage models", and "illegal sex with children" search terms had been used.
On the MicroSD cards, the examiner located additional videos and images of child pornography. The cards also contained a number of URL files ("shortcuts") with names that suggested that they link to child pornography sites on the Internet.
BRISTER 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 conducted by a cooperative effort between Montana Probation and Parole; the Missoula Police Department, Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Montana Division of Criminal Investigations.