MISSOULA – Shane Courtney, 50, of Great Falls, Montana, was sentenced today to 66 months in prison for possession of child pornography. Courtney pleaded guilty January 24, 2018 to one count of possession of child pornography. Courtney admitted that from June 2005 through February 28, 2017, he possessed child pornography. Federal agents discovered his child pornography collection after they searched his residence in February 2017. At that time, Courtney was residing in Anaconda with his wife and children. Agents seized computers and storage devices that were later examined by the Intermountain West Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Billings. A Certified Forensic Examiner determined that Courtney possessed numerous files depicting child pornography including images of prepubescent children.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Dana L. Christensen ordered Courtney to pay a $100 special assessment and ordered 15 years of supervised release.
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.
The case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. Both federal agencies are members of the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson.