HOUSTON — A local man was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison following his conviction for producing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Harris County Sheriff's Office investigated the case, in conjunction with the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Westbrook (Maine) Police Department.
Daniel M. Layne, 34, was sentenced to a total of 300 months in prison by U.S. District Judge David Hittner. Evidence presented at the hearing established that Layne had been communicating via the Internet with underage girls and discussing engaging in sexual activity with them. Layne will be placed on supervised release for life after he completes his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender. Layne pleaded guilty to the charges Feb. 14.
"It's sobering to realize that our kids are often only a mouse click away from danger and deception," said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of HSI Houston. "Sadly, today's technology in the hands of a predator with access to children has put our children at greater risk than ever before. HSI will continue to work tirelessly to protect our kids and bring their abusers to justice."
This investigation began in Maine when the mother of a 14-year-old girl discovered a motel key card in her daughter's pants pocket and sexually graphic text messages on her cell phone. She contacted local authorities who then determined that Layne had traveled to Maine after meeting the girl via the Internet. The investigation revealed Layne had taken sexually explicit photos of the girl.
As a result of the information gathered in Maine, authorities in the Houston area conducted a search at Layne's residence on Sept. 24, 2013, at which time they seized computers, a tablet and cell phones from the house. A forensic analysis revealed images of the 14-year-old on the tablet and a cell phone.
Layne was arrested on the federal charges in October 2013 and has been in custody since that time where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
ICE consists of three directorates to accomplish the agency’s mission, including Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and Management and Administration (M&A).