GREAT FALLS — A Browning man who admitted to having child pornography images and videos on his cellular phone was sentenced today to 38 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Edward James Hovey, 30, pleaded guilty in November 2021 to possession of child pornography.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris also ordered $6,000 restitution.
The government alleged in court documents that in June 2021, a witness brought Hovey’s cellular phone to a Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services officer, said it contained images of nude children and showed the officer some of the files. The officer seized the phone, which was searched pursuant to a warrant. The phone contained images and videos of child pornography. At the time of the investigation, Hovey lived in Browning, located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Hovey admitted in an interview that the phone belonged to him and that he had used it for the past few months to seek child pornography on the internet.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services.
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.
Courtesy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana