GREAT FALLS — Terry Joseph Jette of Anaconda, 56 years old, admitted in federal court on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, to charges that he attempted to coerce and entice a girl he believed to be a minor into engaging in sexual activity during an undercover investigation.
The government alleged in court documents that on June 21, 2021, Jette initiated a conversation on Instagram with a person who he believed was a 13-year-old girl - but was actually an undercover FBI special agent.
U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said in a news release that Jette pleaded guilty to attempted coercion and enticement as charged in an indictment.
At the start of the online chatting, Jette was told that the girl was 13 years old. Jette continued online communication with the girl until his arrest on July 9.
During the comunications, Jette sent the girl an image of his penis and requested nude images of the purported child. Jette initiated sexually explicit conversation with the girl, suggested a meeting and discussed bringing methamphetamine and condoms to the meeting.
On July 8, Jette traveled from Anaconda to Missoula to meet the girl and asked her to sneak out of her house. When the girl was unable to meet that day, Jette suggested a meeting the next day in East Missoula.
Jette made explicit statements about engaging in sexual intercourse and said he had meth.
On July 9, Jette was arrested at the predetermined meeting location. During a search of his vehicle, law enforcement found a condom, meth, Viagra, and candy that the girl had told Jette she liked during their online communications.
Jette faces a mandatory minimum 10 years to life in prison, a $250,000 fine, and at least five years to a lifetime of supervised release.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen DeSoto presided and scheduled sentencing for March 30, 2022 before U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Jette remains in custody pending further proceedings.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee Peterson is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office.