East Helena man sentenced to prison for child pornography charge - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

East Helena man sentenced to prison for child pornography charge

Posted: Updated:

The United States Attorney's Office announced that Richard Charles Saari, 33, of East Helena, was sentenced to a term of 135 months in prison, lifetime  supervised release, and a special assessment of $100 during a federal court hearing in Helena, Montana, on April 12, 2017, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell. 

In addition, the defendant was also required to pay a $5,000 assessment for the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015.

Saari was sentenced in connection with his November 16, 2016, guilty plea to receipt of child pornography. This case stemmed from an investigation initiated in August 2015 by a Helena Police Detective assigned to the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Investigators determined that Saari met a minor female online and then enticed the child into sending him sexually explicit images of herself via cell phone. 

Following the interview of the child, agents seized an electronic storage device from Saari’s East Helena home and found multiple images of child pornography.  The images were organized in electronic subfolders on the storage device, each labeled with the first and last name of the female. 

Agents determined Saari received the images via his cell phone and then downloaded the files to the external hard drive. 

Agents identified several of the females depicted in the files and determined eleven of them were under the age of 18.  Saari received the images of child pornography between approximately December of 2013 and September of 2015.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Rick Shelbourn stated: “The Helena Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force works tirelessly to ensure communities are safe from offenders who prey on our children. 

This case reflects the success of that collaborative effort and the commitment to protect society’s most vulnerable from those who exploit them.”

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that Saari will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Saari does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Helena Police Department, the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, East Helena Police Department, DHS-Homeland Security Investigation and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.

  • Most Popular

  • Drunk Driver hands officer a tube of lipstick as her ID

    Drunk Driver hands officer a tube of lipstick as her ID

    Monday, July 24 2017 6:50 PM EDT2017-07-24 22:50:22 GMT

    Driver with a .229 blood alcohol level hands the officer a tube of lipstick when asked for her identification. 

    Driver with a .229 blood alcohol level hands the officer a tube of lipstick when asked for her identification. 

  • Body found roadside near Jefferson City

    Body found roadside near Jefferson City

    Monday, July 24 2017 6:47 PM EDT2017-07-24 22:47:49 GMT

    An adult female body was found roadside near Jefferson City Sunday morning. 

    An adult female body was found roadside near Jefferson City Sunday morning. 

  • Mother punched in face over social media

    Mother punched in face over social media

    Monday, July 24 2017 5:42 PM EDT2017-07-24 21:42:24 GMT

    A dispute over problems logging into social media accounts due to a new "device" led to an assault involving a child being ripped from the mother's arms. 

    A dispute over problems logging into social media accounts due to a new "device" led to an assault involving a child being ripped from the mother's arms. 

  • UM Student Released After Being Held In China

    UM Student Released After Being Held In China

    Sunday, July 23 2017 4:12 PM EDT2017-07-23 20:12:57 GMT

    In a conference call Sunday afternoon, Senator Steve Daines announced that Guthrie McLean has been released from a China jail.  Daines said he received an email early Sunday afternoon from Guthrie's mother Jennifer saying, "Prayer's answered. Guthrie is home." The Senator says the release came after two days of negotiations stretching 20 hours each. Guthrie is in good condition and charges against him have been dropped. U.S. Senator Steve Daines today released...

    In a conference call Sunday afternoon, Senator Steve Daines announced that Guthrie McLean has been released from a China jail.  Daines said he received an email early Sunday afternoon from Guthrie's mother Jennifer saying, "Prayer's answered. Guthrie is home." The Senator says the release came after two days of negotiations stretching 20 hours each. Guthrie is in good condition and charges against him have been dropped. U.S. Senator Steve Daines today released...