Montana Teacher Sentenced to Over 10 Years in Federal Prison for Child Pornography
MISSOULA - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that Jason Morris was sentenced to 132 months in prison, lifetime supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. Chief U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen presided over the hearing.
Morris previously entered a guilty plea to the receipt of child pornography. In the summer of 2013, Morris, of Heron, Montana, met a minor online and began an internet relationship. During their communications, which lasted until approximately the fall of 2014, Morris became aware of the minor’s age and engaged in sexually explicit conversation with him. In January 2014, Morris received sexually explicit images of the minor. In November 2015, law enforcement executed a search warrant of Morris’s residence and collected several items of electronic media. Multiple images and videos of child pornography were discovered on Morris’s media. Following the search of his residence, Morris fled to Mexico, where he was ultimately arrested on the instant charges in April 2017.
In a sentencing memorandum filed in federal court, federal prosecutors noted the seriousness of Morris’s actions and the need to protect children from him.
Judge Christensen sentenced Morris to over 10 years in federal prison, with lifetime supervised release to follow. Because there is no parole in the federal system, Morris will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Morris does have the opportunity to shorten the term of custody by earning credit for good behavior. However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme applauded the efforts of law enforcement, “I want to congratulate law enforcement and the prosecutor for their dogged efforts to bring this defendant to justice. Our children deserve to be allowed to grow up free from sexual exploitation from adults, especially those in positions of trust.”
“Under our Operations Predator program, our Homeland Security Investigations special agents actively target those who sexually exploit children, while also rescuing their victims,” said Steven W. Cagen, special agent in charge of HSI’s Denver Office, which oversees Montana. “However, we place a higher priority on targeting predators who have positions of public trust, like Morris did as a teacher.”
The Morris case was investigated by Special Agent Bybee of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and other federal, state, and local agencies. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Zeno Baucus.