Lisa Kunkel Independent Record - Montana’s U.S. Attorney William Mercer speaks alongside Helena
Police Chief Troy McGee, left, during a press conference Thursday afternoon in the City-County Building.
New York man pleaded guilty to attempted sexual exploitation of children and distribution of child pornography in U.S. District
Court in Helena on Thursday.
Kyle G. Burris is accused of communicating via the Internet with an FBI agent in Helena
who was posing as a single mother with two preteen daughters being groomed for sexual conduct with Burris. Burris also allegedly
sent the agent pictures of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct and instructed the agent in how to molest the girls
and take pictures of them to send to him.
Burris, of Tonawanda, N.Y., discussed traveling to Montana to have sex with
the two daughters, according to court documents.
At a press conference following the change of plea hearing, Montana’s
U.S. Attorney William Mercer said in the last decade more resources have been offered in order to combat crimes via computer.
really a high priority,” Mercer said.
Mercer said the sad reality is that in 1999 he oversaw two possession and
online predator cases, and this year he estimated 60 to 70 individuals will be prosecuted.
The Montana Internet Crimes Against Children
Task Force, a group consisting of federal, state
and local agencies has been a huge drive in these efforts. The task force includes authorities from police departments, sheriffs’
offices, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Helena Police Department
has a full-time detective who works on internet crimes.
Helena Police Chief Troy McGee decided the agency should be
more involved in Internet crimes but didn’t have the resources to do so until about a year ago.
McGee said the
Burris case has expanded into hundreds of leads in other criminal cases nationwide.
Burris pleaded guilty to two counts
of attempted sexual exploitation of children and three counts of distribution of child pornography to a child. Two more counts
additional counts of distribution of child pornography and a count of attempted distribution of child pornography of a child
will be dismissed at the time of sentencing, according to court documents.
Burris is slated to be sentenced on Sept.
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