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Press Release

California man admits receiving child pornography while living in Missoula

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

MISSOULA — A California man today admitted to receiving child pornography of a minor girl he befriended while living in Missoula, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Bobby Manuel Argo, 23, pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography. Argo faces a mandatory minimum of five years to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. Sentencing was set for Sept. 13 before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Argo was detained pending further proceedings.

In court documents, the government alleged that between 2021 and early 2022, Argo was living in Missoula and befriended Jane Doe 1, a girl who was under the age of 18. Jane Doe 1 confided in Argo that someone online was coercing her to send sexually explicit images of herself. Argo offered to help Jane Doe 1 and asked her to get him in touch with her extortioner. Instead of helping, Argo messaged the perpetrator separately and offered to assist him in further extorting Jane Doe 1 for explicit images of herself and others. In January 2022, law enforcement identified the perpetrator and, during a search of his social media account, learned he had been communicating with Argo about Jane Doe 1 and sharing explicit images of her with Argo. Law enforcement executed search warrants of Argo’s social media account, his residence in California and cell phone and found a video of Jane Doe 1 engaged in sexually explicit content that he had received through the internet while he was still in Missoula.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin D. Hargrove is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Missoula Police Department.

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 Johnson Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated May 5, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 23-141