27 year-old Joshua Dean Fish appeared in federal court this week in Missoula on allegations of sexually exploiting children and of receiving child pornography in both Missoula and Lewis and Clark Counties.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen DeSoto presided.

The complaint alleges that an investigation began in January of 2020 after the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office received a report of suspicious online activity regarding a minor teenaged female victim, which led to numerous other similar reports.

The victims told investigators that they were promised money in exchange for intimate photos of themselves via SnapChat.

The victims told investigators that the suspect utilized Pay Pal to pay the victims under a fictitious name, Grant Holman, however, he liked to be called Mr. Fish or Mr. Fishy.

That investigation led to a search of Fish’s home in Gilbert, Arizona in June. There, authorities seized a laptop computer, a cell phone, and numerous hard drives. The investigation uncovered hundreds of thousands of images and videos of child pornography.

The complaint states that Fish lived in Missoula and in Helena until June of 2018 when he moved to Arizona.

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

Fish was detained pending further legal proceedings.

If convicted of the most serious crimes, Fish faces 15 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and from five years to life of supervised release.

Agencies involved in the investigation include the FBI, Homeland Security, the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Gilbert, Arizona Police Department.

(Information for this story was obtained from a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Montana Department of Justice.)

 

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