Donald Brantman Jr., 29, from New York, N.Y., and a convicted sex offender, was sentenced Friday by U.S. Chief District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to 288 months in federal prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release.
According to documents filed in the case, during the week of March 17, Brantman communicated over the Internet using Yahoo! Instant Messenger with D.M., a 14-year-old boy. At that time, Brantman informed D.M. that he was an adult and D.M. informed Brantman that he was 14 years-old. Brantman informed D.M. that he wanted to be D.M.'s "boyfriend."
During their ensuing conversations via cell phone and instant messaging, Brantman conveyed a desire to engage in illicit sexual conduct. Brantman even conveyed a desire to marry D.M., regardless of D.M.'s age. To these ends, both Brantman and D.M. discussed Brantman traveling from New York to Hunt County, Texas.
Brantman left New York on March 28 on a Greyhound bus bound for Texas intending to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. He arrived in Dallas the following day, and ICE special agents arrested him shortly afterwards. He has been in custody since that time.
Brantman was required to register as a sex offender after he was convicted in 1999 in New York of attempted sodomy of a minor.
U.S. Attorney Roper commended the investigative efforts of ICE, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Texas Rangers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aisha Saleem, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC). In February 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.
This investigation was also part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,500 individuals, including more than 1,160 in Texas.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or www.cybertipline.com.