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Press Release

Billings man admits possessing child pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

BILLINGS — A Billings man admitted today to possessing images of child pornography that he exchanged with another man, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

The defendant, Nathan Allen Sayler, 47, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography as charged in a superseding information. Sayler faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and five years to a lifetime 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. Sayler was released, pending a detention hearing scheduled for May 8.

The government alleged in court documents that in September 2020, law enforcement in Texas arrested an individual who was believed to be exchanging child pornography on social media. Law enforcement reviewed those accounts and determined that, in September 2020, a user in Montana had sent and received child pornography.  An investigation led to a phone number on a cellular phone and an internet provider address of Sayler’s ex-wife. On Dec. 16, 2020, law enforcement conducted a probation search of Sayler, and he denied possessing the phone. Sayler’s ex-wife informed law enforcement that she had purchased the phone for Sayler at his request. In a subsequent interview in December 2020, Sayler acknowledged he had received the cellular phone from his ex-wife but had thrown it into the Yellowstone River in September 2020.  Law enforcement was never able to locate the phone. Following the interview, Sayler suggested to his ex-wife that he had the phone on Dec. 16, 2020, when law enforcement was looking for it, but discarded it after they left. In January 2024, investigators executed a search warrant on email accounts associated with Sayler and located child pornography on one of the accounts.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case. The FBI, Billings Police Department and Montana Division of Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated April 30, 2024

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 24-110