Anaconda man sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for attempted coercion, possession of child pornography
BILLINGS — A Billings man who was convicted in an undercover investigation after he showed up at a residence believing he was going to meet a minor girl for sex was sentenced today to eight years in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Jason Robert Kroepelin, 33, pleaded guilty in April to attempted coercion and enticement.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.
In court documents, the government alleged that on Oct. 27, 2021, Kroepelin walked up to a residence in Billings where he believed he was going to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex. Kroepelin was previously talking online to a person he believed was the girl’s dad but who actually was an undercover FBI agent. Kroepelin had posted an ad titled “young naughty girl to use” on a website and the agent responded to it. Kroepelin described to the undercover agent graphic sexual activity he was planning to engage in with the girl and talked about recording the encounter. Law enforcement arrested Kroepelin when he arrived at an agreed upon location, where he thought he was meeting the girl for sex. After Kroepelin’s arrest, law enforcement searched his phone and found numerous photographs and two videos depicting child pornography.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Billings Police Department, Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office and the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.
This case was initiated under the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative, which was launched in 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. Through a network of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations, Project Safe Childhood attempts to protect children by investigating and prosecuting offenders involved in child sexual exploitation. It is implemented through partnerships including the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The ICAC Task Force Program was created to assist state and local law enforcement agencies by enhancing their investigative response to technology facilitated crimes against children.
Clair Johnson Howard
Public Affairs Officer