GREAT FALLS — Aaron Matthew Manning, who admitted distributing child pornography using his smartphone, was sentenced in federal court in Missoula on Thursday to 19 years and seven months in prison and 15 years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said in a news release.
Manning pleaded guilty in September to distribution of child pornography.
Prosecutors said the Bozeman Police Department and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office were investigating Manning in 2016 for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old child he had met online.
During the investigation, law enforcement officers obtained search warrants for Manning’s smartphone and his Dropbox account, a cloud-based file storage service. Investigators determined that Manning used an application known as Kik on his smartphone to trade child pornography with other Kik users and that in December 2015, Manning sent an image of a prepubescent child engaged in sexually explicit conduct to another Kid user.
Manning also communicated with another Kik user and sent the user a link to his Dropbox account, which investigators determined contained images and videos of child pornography.
In addition, Chief U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ordered Manning, 30 years old, to pay $18,000 restitution and to forfeit his smartphone.
Manning was remanded into the custody of the US Marshals Service after sentencing.