Great Falls Man Sentenced to Prison on Child Pornography Charges
GREAT FALLS - A Great Falls man was sentenced today for receipt of child pornography. United States District Judge Brian M. Morris sentenced Shale Dean Brandt, 43, to 72 months in prison, 5 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. Brandt was also ordered to pay $33,136.40 in restitution.
The charge stemmed from an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations into an Interpol tip that showed Brandt participated in chats and expressed a sexual interest in children. Brandt was interviewed and consented to the search of numerous electronic devices. A total of 551 specific images and 24 videos were found on the devices. A certified forensic examiner analyzed the three devices and found the devices contacted files, images, and videos depicting child pornography. The video files depicted images of prepubescent children involved in sexually explicit conduct. In one instance, the defendant communicated with a Montana woman who provided the defendant with images of child pornography of her 10-year old daughter.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Bartleson.
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 (ICAC) 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.