You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Nebraska Man Sentenced in Missoula to More than 16 Years in Prison for Child Porn Crime

MISSOULA – Tony Gustafson, 48, of Hastings, Nebraska, was sentenced today to 200 months in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for conspiracy to advertise child pornography.  Gustafson was also required to forfeit his computer, hard drives, a USB device, and 30 VHS tapes that were involved in the crime.  Chief U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen sentenced Gustafson following a February 9, 2015, change of plea hearing, in which Gustafson pleaded guilty to the offense.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee Peterson, the government stated that if the case had proceeded to trial, the government would have proven that an invitation-only online bulletin board, referred to as Dark Moon, was created in 2011.  It allowed members to advertise and exchange images of child pornography.  In approximately 2012, Gustafson became an active member of the bulletin board and continued to be an active member in a more advanced role as of April 19, 2013.  Gustafson requested child pornography from other members while on the bulletin board.  He also responded to and commented on posts of child pornography on the board.  Law enforcement analyzed Gustafson’s digital devices and other evidence, which revealed that he used hard drives, a computer, a USB storage device, and 30 VHS tapes in commission of the crime.  Gustafson was ordered to forfeit those items at the sentencing.

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.  Investigative agencies in the case include the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Cyndee Peterson prosecuted this case along with Maureen Cain, of the U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation & Obscenity Section. Because there is no parole in the federal system, Gustafson will have to serve at least 85% of his sentence before he is released from prison.

Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
LAURA WEISS, Public Information Officer, (406) 457-5274
Updated June 24, 2015