A sting operation targeting sexual predators of children led to the arrest of six men and one woman, all of whom appeared in Missoula County Justice Court on Friday facing felony child sex abuse charges.

The roundup of the seven alleged sexual predators – including one couple – was the result of a two-day sting in which members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and several law enforcement agencies posted advertisements on the websites Craigslist and Backpage, posing as an adult female willing to prostitute a 12-year-old female relative.

The sting was a pre-emptive measure to target sexual predators in the community and proactively keep children safe, law enforcement officers involved in the operation said Friday afternoon at a news conference.

“I would like to speak to the men who believe it’s all right to victimize children,” Missoula County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Dominick said. “I would like to promise them three things: We will find you, we will arrest you and we will lock you away for as long as the law will allow.”

The officers assured members of the media no children were involved in the operation and they would continue to use such stings in the future.


According to the affidavits filed by Assistant Chief Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks, all of the defendants were arrested after responding to the advertisements and driving to an address given to them by the undercover detective posing as the girl’s adult relative.

Matthew Steven Keith, 22, appeared in Justice Court on Friday facing a sexual abuse of children charge.

According to the affidavit, prior to arriving at the residence the Missoula man confirmed with the undercover detective that he was to have sex with the 12-year-old child.

He was taken into custody Wednesday after allegedly requesting the officer come out of the house to ensure he wasn’t being set up.

Keith told law enforcement he had no intention of having sex with the underage girl, but went to the house to identify the people involved before going to police, the affidavit stated.

Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech set his bail at $25,000.


Jenna Elizabeth Davis, 29, and her boyfriend Chad Lee Briggs, 36, also appeared before Orzech on Friday.

Davis is the only woman charged in the investigation and faces a count of conspiracy to commit sexual abuse of children.

According to the affidavit, the Turah woman responded to an advertisement Wednesday, stating Briggs would be interested in “helping the 12-year-old girl … lose her virginity.”

She told an undercover detective that Briggs, who faces a sexual abuse of children charge, had been involved in a prior sexual encounter with an underage girl and enjoyed the experience, the affidavit stated.

Briggs, of Bonner, then allegedly contacted the officer and assured he would be gentle with the girl and would bring condoms.

About 9 p.m., Davis contacted the officer and said they were on their way, the affidavit stated. She also requested she be present in the room to “help Briggs get ready.”

The couple was arrested upon their arrival at the residence.

In Justice Court, Marks said Briggs had a prior offense involving a child.

Orzech set bail for both Davis and Briggs at $25,000.


Christopher Michael Cooper, 30, was visiting family for the holidays from Fort Lewis, Wash., when he responded to the advertisement, Marks said in court Friday.

Marks argued for $50,000 bail because Cooper led law enforcement officers on a foot pursuit after his arrival at the house about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Public defender Daniel Mandelko argued for a lower bail as Cooper is a member of the U.S. Army and stationed in Washington. The military, he argued, will hold him accountable and force him to attend court appearances.

“No, for him it’s $50,000,” Orzech said. “He lives out of state and I don’t know what assurance the U.S. Army can make to the court.”

Cooper also faces a sexual abuse of children charge.


Neal Lewis Gray, 54, was taken into custody Wednesday after his alleged response to the advertisements. He was arrested with a variety of items used in sado-masochistic sex acts, the affidavit stated.

“He had a long, detailed and disturbing list of what he wanted to perform on the 12-year-old girl,” Marks said in court Friday.

Orzech set his bail at $75,000 – $25,000 higher than what the prosecution suggested.

He faces a charge of sexual abuse of children.


Justin Gale Walker, 28, of Hamilton, was arrested after arriving at the residence about 2:45 p.m. Thursday.

According to the affidavit, Walker insisted on speaking to the girl and had a phone conversation with an undercover detective posing as the 12-year-old.

He allegedly confessed that he had come to the house to have sex with the girl.

Orzech set his bail at $25,000.

He faces a sexual abuse of children charge.


The seventh suspect to appear in court Friday was James Stewart Myers.

After contacting the undercover detective Wednesday, Myers allegedly was told he had the choice of a 12-year-old girl or a 15-year-old girl. Upon arriving at the house, he met the undercover detective and said he wanted to receive oral sex from the 12-year-old girl and gave the detective a $100 bill, the affidavit stated.

He was taken into custody and posted $50,000 bond after his arrest.

All seven defendants’ preliminary hearings are set for Thursday, Jan. 2, at 4 p.m.

The investigation was a cooperative operation between the Missoula Police Department, Missoula County Sheriff’s Department, Flathead County Sheriff’s Department and ICAC.

Missoulian intern Kendra Cousineau contributed to this report.

Reporter Kathryn Haake can be reached at 523-5268 or at kate.haake@missoulian.com.

More from missoulian.com

(81) comments


How can anybody be against this? The supposed girl was twelve.
The scary thing is they caught this many in one short little sting. How many sickos must there be out there? Instead of jailing people for having a joint or walking home drunk from the bar (public intoxication = way better than drunk driving) focus on these scumbags.



Run - A- Mook

Please explain
10 to 1 you don't know what entrapment is. Just a big word.


What if the police put out a message on Craig's List that says "We're all driving downtown to such & such bar to get drunk, Meet us there"? You drive downtown to the bar and are subsequently arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit DUI. You didn't drink any alcoholic beverages but you were just minutes away from doing so and getting back in your car and driving home with a snoot full. Are you guilty of a crime?

Run - A- Mook


Run - A- Mook


more info
When you drove to the bar there was no conspiracy.
If you had one drink there was no conspiracy.
I don't know how many drinks you need to get a snoot full.
If you do get a snoot full and don't drive, no DUI. If you
hang around and make a fool of yourself, by drinking
more or go outside you may be arrested for Drunk in
Public. If you get in your car and head home, DUI.

You can not be charged with conspiracy. It takes two or
more to conspirer. You can not conspirer with yourself.
That's known as day-dreaming, or thinking to yourself.

Run - A- Mook

or in cases like light-in, Readneck, O. o. and so on

it's called "talking to yourself."

Re-Made in Montana

There is nothing prima facie illegal about driving to a bar and getting drunk. People do it every day. Driving AWAY from the bar drunk is a different story but it would be difficult to infer that because they drove there, they were going to drive away intoxicated. There is plenty of potential for something or someone to intervene before that crime occurs. Soliciting sex with a minor IS illegal from the start. Driving to the location of the illicit rendezvous is an act in furtherance of that crime. See the difference?

Run - A- Mook

in the last two lines Re-Make is 100% right.


Seemed too easy. I'm sure it took a lot of planning but my suggestion would be keep running different variations of this "sting" until you are no longer consistently catching suspects.


Saw a guy thinking about running through a stoplight... Go get-em!


No comparison. Are you implying a child actually needs to be physically violated for a crime to occur?


First of all, a big shout out for the Missoula Police Department for protecting our children. Unfortunately, this sting took place in a nice residential neighborhood in Missoula. My family lives on the block where the sting took place. I witnessed the police with their guns drawn on the suspect that tried to flee. Luckily, my kids were not home at the time and did not see this, and they did catch this guy. But what if it would have escalated, and if that had happened while my children were at home? My family watched the whole operation for two days. It was obvious what was going on in our neighborhood. It was sad the way some of the officers handled themselves. It was like they were on high horse and giving each other high fives for a job well done, while they were going through our neighbors mailbox, who has been working out of town for the last 3 months. Don't you need a warrant for that? All we can think about is that this sting cleaned 7 bad people off the street and ended with a happy ending. But, think about the last two drug stings, and how two people were shot. What if that was my kid playing outside, in our yard, from a sting, not being informed about. Do you want this to happen in your neighborhood? The least they could do, is inform the residents!!


officer behavior, sounds unbecoming and very embarrassing to the community. I would want officers trained and skilled in the subtle, not a lavish show.


Miss Perfect:
"Botched" drug stings? Drug dealers caught and now going to prison, they are no longer dealing drugs (not marijuana) to our community and helping ruin lives. That is a SUCCESS!
"Several" civilians shot? Your information is WRONG!
What kind of trouble have YOU gotten yourself into that makes you hate the police so intensely? I bet it is a great story with a whole lot of, you didn't do anything wrong and they were just picking on you.


Maybe these folks can purchase/acquire some of that child-abuse-pedophilia insurance similar to the Pervert insurance the Christian Church leaders use?

21 hours ago on Church abuse lawsuit negotiations hit snag:


The men who abuse children within the Churches we say: "Perverted"

The men who invented the Christian Churches that hid and protected those child-abusers in the name of Jesus we say: "Immoral"

The Masses of people who dedicate their lives and souls, along with their own children, to these perverted/immoral men we realize: "RELIGION"

[ I ask; Would these men who invented Christianity be against Birth-Control if little boys could become pregnant? ]


Good job Missoula PD. Very glad to see you are not out doing stop sign or traffic traps to earn some more revenue for Pork Chop to spend. This is what police were intended for.

Miss Teacher

Miss Perfect: are you for real? If so I am going to knock you off your high horse. Oops talk is cheap. No harm no foul. This is not a political maneuver nor a publicity stunt. Leave politics out of it and appreciate the potential lives that may have been protected. Had these idiots not found this " add" they would have found another way to get their rocks off. You Miss Perfect are far from it!


right on, Teach !


They should all be sent away. Shame on them.

Miss Perfect

We are to be "Relieved" and "Pleased" that the Missoula PD have arrested 7 people for alleged crimes they .......didn't do?

No...No..No....this is a Public Relations STUNT by a derelict and dysfunctional police department........the same unit that performed so poorly that Obama sent his Dept. of Justice here to kick some sense into them.

Know Chief Muir has been gently put out to pasture (should have been fired though).....and the new chief does not want the same fate.

So we see several BOTCHED drug stings.......an officer shot.......several citizens shot......and now this circus.





The people who were arrested were within minutes of have sex with minors. It is only that it was sting that it was avoided. Shame on you. You're backing the wrong horse here.


A round of applause for the Missoula PD for rounding these people up.


You want a refund? Are you the one who gave that cop $100? In reality, they do these stings all the time all over the country. Imagine being stupid enough to believe some 12 year old wants "help" dispensing with her virginity by some old guy old enough to be her father or even her grandfather. The biggest collections of pedophiles are where there are kids - altar boys, boy scouts, Disneyland.


schools private and public, doctors /dentist offices, churches, camp,movie theaters,ice cream parlors camp,department of youth corrections, mental health facilities, group homes, foster parents." The biggest collections of pedophiles are where there are kids" that is true, the other place is the state prison.


Add to the list : Child protective service employees.


the NEA does not want to pass a bill protecting students,background checks are not mandatory.


The reason these creeps are on the street is the courts fault, not the police dept., I can assure you the police want rid of the people too.


WOW. Just wow. Defending child abusers. Pretty low. You are.


Your comments Miss not so perfect made me throw up a little in the back of my mouth. What a sad and cold person you are.


Well one question, you want your money back, is that correct? Many convicted felons sentenced, paroled and walking the streets. Felonies,rape and other crimes scenes , you want your money back, because of poor law enforcement?? The losses in so many areas for victims, some victims merely want ten minutes alone with the SOB or SOB's.committing crimes, you want cash? a good idea. To your other question, where are the felons who committed actual rapes ,some escaped, walked the streets for decades with a limp. To your other statement, Public relations stunt? ask the cop if you can have ten minutes alone with the criminal if the person arrested is convicted, and know that assault on the property of the department of corrections is probably a crime, but some might say and have been known to say ok. Botched what? the sales of drugs? people survived that is good.


I just puked a little in my mouth after reading about the couple...


Why was there not more info on the seventh person arrested. Like He just retired from Mineral County as a Youth Probation Officer. How many of those children over how many years?????? Think about it. What were you thinking Jim...


Nice job Missoula Police! It's scary that there are so many sickos out there though.


As a survivor of sexual abuse at the age of 10, I attest that his had some very serious lasting effects on my life. PTSD, violence, self medicating, inability to maintain a monogomous relationship, fear of types of men, feeling responsible that it happened - like I somehow caused it, which leads to very low self-worth, skewed ideas about sexuality - the list goes on. Countless hours of thereapy have taught me that it wasn't my fault and that I wasn't responsible, but yet I'm still responsible for my actions when it comes to having PTSD episodes. These chomos cause more lasting damages than there's room to post, and they should be locked up with no possibility of ever getting out. We hear a lot about this predatory behavior in the media when it concerns little girls, but the same happens to little boys, as it did to me.


Sorry to hear that happened to you. I hope they throw away the key on these people also


So sorry to hear about your life experiences. You can climb out of it, the depths of despair.


Some of these people have children. please respect their families while judging them.


Don't think so. It is too late for that.

Run - A- Mook

Lets hope not.


Wow, you're right. I didn't even think of these people being parents, Those poor children. Pedophiles do not necessarily go outside the family to find all their victims. I can't imagine them passing up what is right at hand to find a stranger on craigslist willing to offer up their kids for money. Even more reason to lock them up and at the very least remove their kids asap!!


Why should we "respect" their families, they are the ones who brought shame to them. I hope those kids are taken away and put in a safer place (if there is one). And change their names.


Seems that Montana is the place for pedophiles, sex abusers, and family abusers to move to and practice their sick way of life. Maybe it's time to start tattooing their faces so that law abiding citizens can be aware of just how many of these monsters live in Montana.


In an age of no morals, no ethics, no religion, no fear of God, this is what you get. Even in little old Missoula. What happens to the victims, across the nation? Maybe the scum should be hanged, in the good old days, they would have been.


You do understand that there have been many pedophiles throughout history that use the bible, the supossed word of god, to justify their abuse, don't you? They can point to chapter & verse that they say supports their views.


really Walter... I'm quite certain this is what many children involved w/ the Catholic Religion got?!


Great team work for law enforcement!! Thank you for removing these destroyers of life out of society. I pray that any of their previous victims will come forward ... and for a judge who will give them their due, as well. Shame on all 7 of you!! Get some help for your sickness!


Good job! Now, let's hope the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force will target accused pedophile Sylvain Kustyan! Accused pedophiles like Kustyan and Jerry Sandusky must be apprehended before they have years to continue to destroy young lives. Sandusky is now safely behind bars. But unfortunately, Kustyan, who has been formally charged with two counts each of 1st Degree Sodomy and Sexual Abuse of a ten-year-old little boy, fled to avoid imminent arrest. Kustyan, formerly of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Hermin/ Mazingarbe, France,as an English teacher, has led numerous groups of schoolchildren on trips to the US, the UK and Ireland.. Pedophiles condemn their victims to a lifetime of emotional and psychological trauma and often permanent physical ailments as well. Since the average pedophile has 300 different victims in their lifetime and since the recidivism rate among pedophiles is virtually 100% and since there is no effective treatment and no known cure they must be stopped ASAP

trad man

sick,and some are out walking our streets with prior convictions! I wonder how many children these folks have destroyed the lives of??? Put them all in Deer Lodge for the next 20 years without parole and see who survives!


But watch they will get probation and have to register as a sex offender. Not enough for what they have done.


Yeh, it will be interesting to see what kind of sentences they get, 20 years does sound good, but very doughtful they will get it.

Cats Life
Cats Life

"Public defender Daniel Mandelko argued for a lower bail as Cooper is a member of the U.S. Army and stationed in Washington. The military, he argued, will hold him accountable and force him to attend court appearances."


The United States military has an atrocious record regarding accountability for sexual assaults. Their record of enabling and condoning such assaults is shameful. A higher -- not lower -- bail was clearly warranted.


I am ex-military and I have seen the statistics lately on suicide in the military and I wonder how sexual assault within the military is affecting this suicide rate. It is not the good old days anymore boys and girls.


We really need to get rid of these people. I won't say how I think we should do it. Let's just say I'd be in jail myself for a looooong time if they came near my family.

Miss Perfect

Where is the crime here? Talk is cheap.....unless you are talking to undercover cop. I am not suggesting that police wait until after the crime......but there is nothing here but talk.

So......I tell a undercover cop.."I want to rob First Security Bank"........do I go to jail for this? Or....I am going to take a F250 from the dealership. Is this a crime.....or loose talk?

Not condoning the behavior of these people .......but this is absurd. What we have now are "Thought police"........as if they know you will commit a crime before you do it.

Too many cops with nothing to do. Why too many? Because a moronic mayor took federal grant monies to hire more police........when the monies are spent and gone, we are stuck with with the added payroll/vacation pay, healthcare and pensions.


I can understand your thinking, but these people came to a residence to have sex with a child. This is disgusting, it is not just loose talk, they talked and then showed up. Guilty, throw the book at these creeps.


It's not just talk it is actions also. It would be like you saying you are going to rob First Security Bank and then showing up there with a gun in hand and a mask over your face. Your intentions would be clear!

Inside of your negative diatribe lets give kudos where they belong - to the awesome law enforcement that got these creep off the street!


When you show up at the bank/dealership it has gone beyound "loose talk" At that point your physical intentions are very clear. These peopel didn't merely say the would do something they actually showed up to do it. Had this not been a sting operation each and every one of them would have committed the crime of sexually abusing a child. That's what they were there for. Your arguement is far less than perfect.

Re-Made in Montana

Wrong. It is NOT just talk. These folks talked, then acted in furtherance of that "talk" by showing up, often with condoms etc in hand which shows an entirely different level of culpability. The body of law is replete with both grey and bright lines, which when crossed elevate behavior to a criminal offense. Arranging a sexual encounter with a child then committing an overt act towards that end is a chargeable offense. Plain and simple.


You're not thinking very well this morning, Miss Perfect. All of these people arrested are a serious danger to children and apparently have violated the law.


Tell a cop you want to bomb First Security Bank and you will go to jail. Tell me you are looking to have sex with a 13yo and I will call the police. I cannot believe you are asserting there are too many cops with nothing to do and that's why these morons were arrested. They didn't just talk about it, they showed up with the money. I think Miss Perfect may have some not-so-perfect thoughts of her/his own if she/he thinks there is no crime here.


Miss Perfect you should change your name to Miss Nieve. Have you read the entire article and the court affidavit's?? One man gave the undercover $100 for oral sex. Are you suggesting they have a 12 year old go into a room with him and have him unzip his pants before they arrest him?? The female Davis and her boyfriend were on there way and she was asking to be present to watch and help. She also stated her boyfriend had past encounters with young females and enjoyed it. Mr. Walker had phone conversations with a young girl and admitted coming to the residence for sex. Mr. Gray had a detailed list of what he wanted to do to and with the young girl. You Miss Perfect would make a great public defender of this scum...have you looked into what you could do to help the above listed victims while they wait for the justice system to figure out there "crimes".


If you say "I want to rob First Security Bank" in your living room, or on the phone, you MIGHT face a charge of conspiracy to commit a crime. If you show up at the door of First Security Bank with a ski mask and a handgun, and say "I want to rob First Security Bank", you'll go down for attempted robbery.and possibly other things.

These idiots had conversations about engaging in sexual activity with children, then showed up at the agreed upon place, at the agreed upon time, some with the exchange of money, some equipped with condoms. You think this was just talk and should be let go?

Run - A- Mook

{If you say, "I want to rob First Security Bank" in your living room, or on the
phone, You Might face a charge of conspiracy to commit a crime." Well
noooo, there is no conspiracy until you commit an overt act i.e. get a gun,
ski mask or drive to the bank. The penalty in most cases is harsher, than
for attempt. {If you show up at door and say "I want to rob F.S.B."} you are
still in the conspiracy stage. When you go in and say to the cashier or hand
the cashier a note demanding money, you now have an attempt. If that dude
in the next line, sticks a gun in your ear and says, put your hands behind
your back, and it turns out he's a cop and places you under arrest, You
will be charged with attempted robbery. Now if you grab the money and run
before he gets to you, but grabs your buns inside or outside the bank. You
will go down for bank robbery.

Run - A- Mook

P.S. The rest of your comment is right on.


Your knowledge of the legal system is as flawed as your knowledge on other topics, not surprisingly. People can and are charged with conspiracy to commit and intent to commit a wide variety of crimes. This is not the "thought police." No one is throwing these individuals in jail for thinking about molesting kids. They are in jail because they expressed their intent to do so and that is a crime.

We still have freedom of speech but it doesn't mean you can say any dumb or damning thing you want without consequences, especially if you show evidence of following through on those words. If you told a cop you wanted to rob first security bank and then showed up with a gun but didn't go through with the robbery you can bet your crappy logic wouldn't keep you from being arrested. Same deal here. They aren't being charged with crimes they haven't committed but with intent to commit those crimes (a lesser offense) which is, in itself, still a CRIME.


this wasn't just "loose talk" theu actually showed up expecting to have sex with a 12 year old. One guy even brought "a variety of items used in sado-masochistic sex acts", and you ask where is the crime here? Tell you what Miss Perfect go tell a cop you intend to rob a bank then show up at the bank with a gun and see what happens. Your arguement is far less than perfect.


are you for real ? "intent" to commit crime was demonstrated. if you are caught trying to break in with the tools, your busted ! We dont wait until the burglary is over. We are talking about children here, they want children.They made a decision to show up. Disgusting ! Maybe you need to lay down the crack pipe anfd try think about it.


I once saw news footage of a dozen state cops from somewhere back east chasing a stolen Dunkin Donuts truck down the freeway, I thought I was gonna die laughing. Now those are cops with nothing better to do with their time. Weeding out pedophiles in the way that they did here sounds like creative, effective law enforcement to me. No different then using a rigged bait car to nail car thieves or setting up drug deals to bust the dealers.


Bureaucrats make gobbledygook statements that is what many of them do.. If you were to make your statement with intentions and pursue, I believe that is called premeditation. If you are going to take a vehicle with permission from the automobile dealership not crime, without theft.Thought police is a interesting term, clairvoyants? Contrary to popular belief people cannot read a persons mind or predict human behavior. I understand knot heads exist,but mayors usually accept awarded grant money. Certainly are we are expected to foot the bill for continued enforcement or stop the operations that occur. The extra patrol stop a drunk in public from freezing to death. Lets see a pub. intox. charge versus death, that is not bad law enforcement..


Don't these creeps watch TV? These sting operations are getting rather common and still keep reeling them in.


Great group of fine upstanding productive members of society. If found guilty, send them to general population. I wonder how many times these predators have been successful at molesting a child or finding an underage date online, disgusting!


“I would like to speak to the men who believe it’s all right to victimize children,” Missoula County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Dominick said. “I would like to promise them three things: We will find you, we will arrest you and we will lock you away for as long as the law will allow.”...

Capt. Mike Dominick... You can start Here...

Perverts hiding Perverts... in the name of God;

Child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the United States:

Child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the United States. In "Hand of God," part 1 of 10:

Child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Montana:

Boy Scouts Of America Accused Of Covering Up Child Sex Abuse:

Boy Scouts Set To Release Massive Amount Sex Abuse Files Hidden From Public For Decades:

CNN Guest on Boy Scouts Gay Ban: Parents Need to Protect Kids From Potential Risk of Sexual Abuse:

Boy Scouts of America Pedophiles:

Gays are bad, But... Hiding/protecting pedophiles under the veil of God is accepted by Christinans!

?" Would all of those men who control Catholic Church, along the BSoA and hide/protect these pedophiles amongst their Christian ranks be against the use of Birth-Control if little Boys could become Pregnant????

Run - A- Mook

Does not the hate run deep?


In Jesus name they Prey!


Odd, I don't recall 'thou shall fondle thy alter boys' being one of the 10 commandments.

Run - A- Mook

@ COMMON SENSE -- below --

Los quoted Capt. Mike Dominick, "I would like to promise......"
Los then said, "Capt. Mike Dominick....You can start here....
Mike's power to investigate a crime, stops at the city line,
if the crime did not occur within the city of Missoula.

Los's, above post, is just a showing of his hate for the Catholic
Church, Christians and the BSoA.

I don't know what happen to Los, but to lump everyone together.
is showing a lot of hate.

Objective observer

A county sheriff's jurisdiction ends at the county line, not the city's.


Hope none can make bail. Thanks law enforcement for a good job getting these creeps.


Sick and stupid. Makes ya wonder huh?

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