U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich announces DOJ grant for Montana’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
BILLINGS — A Billings man who was accused of having sexual conversations through social media with an undercover agent posing as a minor girl and was arrested when he showed up to meet the girl admitted to charges today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Kyle Jason Swindler, 41, pleaded guilty to attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor. Swindler faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and at least three years of supervised release.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. A sentencing date will be set before U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Swindler was released pending further proceedings.
The government alleged in court documents that in October 2021, law enforcement, acting in an undercover capacity and posing as a 13-year-old girl, communicated through the Internet by social media with a user who turned out to be Swindler. Early in the conversation, the undercover persona identified herself as 13 years old, and Swindler responded, “Ouch you’re a young one.” The conversation became sexual in nature. Swindler and the undercover persona discussed plans to meet in person for a sexual encounter and arranged to meet in a Billings park. Swindler drove to the park, where he was arrested. Law enforcement searched Swindler’s vehicle and found sex-related items. Officers also searched Swindler’s cell phone and recovered the original social media conversation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin D. Hargrove is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Billings Police Department, Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office and Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office.
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