Child Pornography on the Rise in Western Montana
Child pornography appears to be on the rise in western Montana according to state criminal investigators (above map indicates child pornography viewers, but is not current to Feb. 17).
"We have, you know, different programs that we use and software to try to track and locate individuals that are used in this stuff," said Montana Department of Justice Criminal Investigator Gary Seder. "We do see a lot of activity along the western part of the state for whatever reason. There's activity in the Missoula, Kalispell, and Libby area that we see. There's numerous investigations that are getting worked in that part of the country, obviously in the bigger cities."
Last year, two child prostitution stings were conducted in Montana each netting multiple respondents to Craigslist ads advertising a 12 year old girl. Seder says that the stings were a reaction to the increased use of child prostitution through certain websites.
"We've seen advertisements on Craigslist. Backpage is another website that's in our state that we're starting to see a higher increase of human trafficking going on," said Seder. "More importantly, to us, we've seen an increase around the U.S. actually, but also through Montana through the circuits of younger children being used in the course of this prostitution in these rings as well."
More sting operations are planed for the near future.