Browning man sentenced to five years in prison for distributing, receiving child pornography
GREAT FALLS—A Browning man who admitted using his phone to access and distribute child pornography from his dorm room at the University of Montana was sentenced today to five years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $18,000 restitution, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Dylan LaPlant, 22, pleaded guilty in June to distribution of child pornography and receipt of child pornography.
U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.
In court records filed in the case, the prosecution said an investigation began in March 2018 when an FBI special agent in New York notified an FBI special agent in Montana that during an ongoing child porn investigation, agents had discovered an instant messenger application account in Montana that was linked to the receipt and distribution of numerous child pornography images. The investigation identified LaPlant as a participant in group chat sessions and a chat member who sent multiple links to images and videos of child pornography to other group members.
During an interview with FBI agents in April 2018, LaPlant admitted he had been a student at the University of Montana, and while in his dorm room, he would access the internet with his smart phone. He admitted to accessing group accounts that contained messages and links to child pornography and that he used his phone to view the material and forward links to other group users.
FBI agents served a search warrant on LaPlant’s home in Browning and seized electronic devices that were found to contain more than 500 images and videos of child pornography.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Starnes prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI.