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Press Release

Missoula man sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for sexually exploiting child

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

MISSOULA  — A Missoula man who admitted to producing sexually explicit images of a child and downloading sexually explicit images of children from the internet was sentenced today to  30 years in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Anthony Riley Smith, 29, pleaded guilty in March to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

U.C. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided. The court also ordered $133,560 restitution to the victim.

“Smith committed unspeakable crimes against a vulnerable child.  His heinous conduct merits the lengthy sentence that the judge imposed today,” U.S. Attorney Laslovich said. “I want to thank the Missoula Police Department for being part of the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task and for its hard work rendering justice in this case. We will continue to work with the ICAC Task Force to investigate and prosecute such egregious crimes committed against children. Our office remains committed to prosecuting offenders like Smith and to seeking sentences like today’s, which ensures that he will never harm another child again.”

“Crimes against children are a priority for the Missoula Police Department,” Missoula Police Chief Michael J. Colyer said. “Thorough investigations are an invaluable part of seeking justice for victims, and we hope our role will somehow help victims along the path to recovery. Bringing these complex cases to a successful resolution is the result of tireless work by committed members of the Missoula Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and we will continue to invest in protecting children in the future.” 

In court documents, the government alleged that in August 2021, a Missoula Police Department detective, who is a member of the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, investigated multiple CyberTips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tips related to sexually explicit images of children being uploaded online. The investigation led to Smith. Law enforcement searched his residence pursuant to a warrant and seized electronic devices. Investigators determined that Smith had produced child pornography of a prepubescent boy with a cellular phone, and that his desktop computer contained images of the boy engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Smith admitted he had been collecting child pornography for more than a year.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson prosecuted the case. The Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Missoula Police Department and Montana Division of Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, a defendant will likely serve all of a sentence imposed by the court. A defendant may be eligible for a sentence reduction for “good behavior,” however, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.

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 July 27, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 23-300