THOMAS ANDREW QUINTON SENTENCED
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on February 6, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris, THOMAS ANDREW QUINTON. was sentenced to a term of 48 months imprisonment, 5 years supervised release, a special assessment of $100.
QUINTON was sentenced in connection with his November 12, 2013 guilty plea to travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct. In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Lahr, the government stated that in June 2013, members of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force in Great Falls conducted a "catch the predator" operation. An advertisement was posted on Craigslist in an attempt to target individuals in Great Falls and the surrounding area who were interested in engaging in sexual conduct with a minor child.
On June 24, 2013, a Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Special Agent posted one such ad and received numerous responses. The agent then used an undercover persona to pose as a fictitious person named "Teresa Smith", a 38-year old female in Great Falls living with her 12-year old niece, "Katie Smith." The agent exchanged several e-mails with an individual responding to the ad who ultimately identified himself as Thomas Andrew Quinton, a Canadian citizen. The emails from Quinton contained descriptions of sexual acts Quinton wanted to engage in with "Katie". Quinton also sent a photograph of himself and two more photos of a graphic nature.
Beginning July 2, 2013, Quinton began texting the agent stating that he would be taking time off work. The agent exchanged 375 text messages with Quinton between July 2, 2013, and July 3, 2013. Many of the text messages contained descriptions of sexual acts or were of a sexual nature. Quinton was advised on multiple occasions via text and e-mail that "Katie" was a 12-year old girl.
The telephone number Quinton used was identified as a Canadian-based number out of Lethbridge, Alberta.
Quinton was given the address of the house being utilized by ICAC Task Force agents for the operation, and Quinton agreed to travel to the residence to engage in sexual conduct with "Katie". At around 4:15 p.m. on July 3, 2013, Quinton parked his truck at the residence and walked to the house where he was arrested and taken into state custody charged with violations of § 45-5-625, M.C.A., sexual abuse of children.
Law enforcement officers interviewed Quinton who stated that he had traveled from Lethbridge to Great Falls on July 3, 2013, to have sex with "Katie". He confirmed his cellular phone number was the number used for the text messaging and that he had corresponded via text messaging and e-mails with "Teresa" and "Katie" for the purpose of meeting "Katie" and engaging in sexual acts. Officers also confirmed that Quinton and his vehicle had entered the United States at the Sweetgrass Port of Entry on July 3, 2013, at 2:28 p.m.