MISSOULA — An Anaconda man was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, after he admitted he tried to coerce a girl he believed to be a minor into engaging in sex during an undercover investigation, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Terry Joseph Jette, 56, pleaded guilty in December 2021 to attempted coercion and enticement.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided.
The government alleged in court documents that on June 21, 2021, Jette initiated a conversation through social media with a 13-year-old user girl who was actually an undercover FBI special agent. From the beginning, Jette was told the girl was 13 years old. Jette continued online communication with the girl until his arrest on July 9, 2021. During the communications, Jette sent the girl an image of his penis and requested nude images of the child. Jette initiated sexually explicit conversations, 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 for the girl.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson prosecuted 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.
This case was initiated under the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative, which was launched in 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. Through a network of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations, Project Safe Childhood attempts to protect children by investigating and prosecuting offenders involved in child sexual exploitation. It is implemented through partnerships including the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The ICAC Task Force Program was created to assist state and local law enforcement agencies by enhancing their investigative response to technology-facilitated crimes against children.