Thursday, January 21States Top Leading News (STL.News)

Helena: Joshua Dean Fish Committed the Crimes of Sexual Exploitation

Helena man, Joshua Dean Fish appears on allegations of sexually exploiting children and receiving child pornography

MISSOULA (STL.News) A Helena man appeared in court today on allegations of sexually exploiting children and receiving child pornography in Missoula and Lewis and Clark counties, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said.

A criminal complaint unsealed today alleges Joshua Dean Fish, 27, committed the crimes of sexual exploitation of a child and receipt of child pornography.  If convicted of the most serious crime, Fish faces 15 years to 40 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years to life of supervised release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided.  Fish was detained pending further proceedings.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to the complaint and affidavit, an investigation began in January when the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office received a report of suspicious online activity regarding a minor teenage female victim.  The investigation led to additional minor female victims.  Victims reported that they were promised monetary payments in exchange for photographs of themselves in various stages of undress and nudity through SnapChat, a social media application.  The victims reported that the suspect used PayPal to submit payments to the victims, used the fictitious name, Grant Holman, and liked to be called Mr. Fish or Mr. Fishy.

The investigation led to a search of Fish’s residence in Gilbert, AZ, on June 18.  Law enforcement seized a cell phone, a laptop computer and numerous hard drives.  After examining the electronics that were seized during the search of Fish’s residence, agents discovered hundreds of thousands of images and videos of child pornography, the complaint and affidavit allege.  The complaint and affidavit further allege that Fish used, coerced and exploited the victims into producing sexually explicit images of themselves.  Fish lived in Missoula and Helena until about June 2018, when he moved to Arizona.

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The FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Gilbert (AZ) Police Department are investigating the case.

SOURCE: USDOJ.Today