Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) — Montana’s US Attorney Jesse Laslovich announced this week that the Justice Department has allocated nearly $350,000 in funding to the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Prosecuting crimes against children is a priority
KGVO News spoke to Laslovich, who said the funds will help fund one of his most pressing law enforcement priorities, which is prosecuting cybercrimes against children.
“This is a top priority for us in the Internet Crimes Against Children initiative,” Laslovich said. “This task force has been in existence for some time and is made up of a variety of state, local and federal partners working diligently to track down and hold accountable these what I believe are horrible people who are attempting to exploit and harm our children.”
Laslovich described some of the criminal activity aimed at exploiting Montana’s children.
“It can be done either through child pornography or through coercion or human trafficking,” he said. “This task force is on the front line in many ways to combat this type of activity.”
Montana gets a portion of $100 million to fight crimes against children
Laslovich said a percentage of the US Department of Justice’s national funds will help Montana protect its children from exploitation.
“This money in particular is US Department of Justice money,” he said. “We received nearly $350,000 from our Office of Justice programs and that was part of over $100 million across the country to fund this effort. Money provides resources for some people. It also funds the covert operations that are being conducted with the kind of technological avenues that we need.”
Laslovich again emphasized the advantages of federal prosecutors over local or state officials in holding criminals accountable for crimes against children.
“With our penitentiary structures, mandatory minimum sentences, they take them to the federal Bureau of Prisons where if they come out after a long time, they’re under strict surveillance,” he said. “We’ve talked about this before in a different context, but the United States Probation Office has more resources to ensure these types of people serve their full sentences because, unlike the state system, if you’re sentenced to 20 years in prison, that’s all 20 years and post-release supervision time.”
The task force will also provide educational programs for law enforcement, teachers, parents and children.
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