Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
(202) 514-2008
TDD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Acting Assistant Attorney General John C. Richter of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Bill Mercer of the District of Montana announced today that Thomas W. Lambert, a 65-year-old resident of Lavina, Montana, was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $35,000 fine for conspiring to transport obscene materials.

Lambert was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull at the U.S. District Court in Billings, Montana.

Lambert pleaded guilty on Feb. 25, 2005, to conspiring to transport obscene matters in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 1462. In an offer of proof filed by the United States at the plea hearing, the government stated that during 2001 and 2002, while doing business as "Pet Tec," Lambert shipped obscene videotapes throughout the United States in response to orders placed by customers who received mail order catalogs. The videotapes depicted violent "gang rapes" of women, sexual intercourse between humans and animals, and other sexual activity which involved urination, defecation, fisting, bondage, and sadistic and masochistic conduct.

The Supreme Court's decision in Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973), stated that hard-core pornography, which appeals to prurient sexual interests, depicts sex in a patently offensive way, and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value, is legally obscene and falls outside the protection of the First Amendment right of expression. In his plea, Lambert admitted that the elements of the crime to which he pleaded guilty included that the obscene matters meet the standards for obscenity established by the Supreme Court.

Gary Robinson, a 63-year-old resident of Billings, Montana, and an employee and co-conspirator of Lambert, was sentenced to 12 months in prison after pleading guilty on March 23, 2004, to transporting obscene matters in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1462. Sanford Wasserman, a 65-year-old resident of Florida and a co-conspirator of Lambert, also pleaded guilty on March 10, 2005 to conspiring to transport obscene matters in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 1462, and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16, 2005.

The case was prosecuted by the Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, and by Trial Attorney Damon King of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) at the U.S. Department of Justice. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, CEOS and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Montana.