Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Montana’s U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich this week announced funds totaling nearly $350,000 from the Department of Justice for the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Prosecuting Crimes Against Kids are a Priority

KGVO News spoke to Laslovich who said the monies will help fund one of his most urgent priorities in law enforcement, prosecuting internet crimes against children.

“This is a top priority for us in the Internet Crimes Against Children initiative,” said Laslovich. “This task force has been in place for some time and it's comprised of a variety of state, local and federal partners who are working diligently to track down and hold accountable those, in my view, horrible people who are seeking to exploit and harm our kids.”

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Laslovich detailed some of the criminal activity aimed at exploiting Montana’s children.

“That can be either through child pornography, or it can be through coercion or trafficking activities,” he said. “This task force in many ways is on the front lines combating that kind of activity.”

Montana Receives Part of $100 Million to Fight Crimes against Children

Laslovich said a percentage of the national funds from the U.S. Department of Justice will help Montana protect its children from exploitation.

“This money in particular is money from the United States Department of Justice,” he said. “We received almost $350,000 from our Office of Justice Programs, and that was part of over $100 million throughout the country to fund those efforts. The money provides funds for some people. It also funds the undercover operations that are done with the sort of technological avenues that we need.”

Laslovich again emphasized the advantages of federal prosecution over that of local or state officials to hold criminals responsible for crimes against children.

“With our sentencing structures, the mandatory minimum sentences, getting them into the Federal Bureau of Prisons, where if they do get out after a long period of time, then they're under a strict period of supervision,” he said. “We've talked about this in another context previously, but the United States Probation Office has more resources to make sure that these kinds of people are serving their full prison sentence, because, unlike the state system, if you're sentenced to 20 years in prison, it's all 20 years and the period of supervision after they're released.”

The task force will also provide educational programs for law enforcement, teachers, parents, and children, as well.

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