Lander Man Sentenced To 20 Years For Producing Child Porn, Despite Government Requesting Longer Sentence

in News/Crime

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Lander man convicted of producing child pornography and traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct has been sentenced to 20 years in prison despite the government’s request for a longer sentence.

Garret Thomas Findlay, 24, was sentenced on one count of traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and four counts of production of child pornography on Feb. 17.

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for each count, to be served at the same time. imprisonment for each count, to be served concurrently. He will also serve 15 years of supervised release and has been ordered to pay $33,000 in restitution.

The government requested a prison sentence of 25 years.

Findlay was indicted on the charges by a federal grand jury on July 20, 2021, and he pleaded guilty to the charges in November. He initially faced 40 years in prison for the charges.

Forensic analysis of his devices revealed that Findlay had been enticing minor girls from around the country to produce child pornography and send it to him and that he had also traveled to meet or have sexual encounters with some of his victims.

According to court documents, in October, a tip was submitted to the CyberTip Report — a service that collects tips about possible crimes against children — about a user on the social messaging app Kik who shared 14 files of suspected child pornography with another user or group of users sometime between Aug. 26 and Aug. 28, 2020. All of the files depicted prepubescent girls being made to participate in sexually explicit activity.

Kik and Verizon both provided documentation that pointed to Findlay being the user of the account and phone that uploaded the pornography.

Police executed a search warrant for Findlay’s parents’ home in early March 2021, where investigators obtained Findlay’s cellphone and detained the man. He was transported to the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, where he made several admissions to possessing child pornography on his phone, using Kik to send and receive child pornography and ultimately admitting the account under investigation was his.

When accessing his phone, investigators found 22 images and 10 videos of child pornography. Findlay told officers the last time he had viewed the material was the previous night, when he’d received “some” images via the social media app Whisper.

He told agents he’d used Whisper numerous times to send and receive child pornography. In March 2021, Findlay used Whisper to send 18 images of child pornography to another user on the app.

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