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December 19, 2018Houston, TX, United StatesChild Exploitation

Houston man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for trafficking children for commercial sex

HOUSTON – A Houston man was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison Tuesday for trafficking children for commercial sex. 

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston, and the United Kingdom Border Force. 

Jason Daniel Gandy, 41, received the 30-year sentence following his July 23 conviction on four counts of sex trafficking minors, one count of transporting minors, one count of sexually exploiting a child, and one count of transporting child pornography.

Following his incarceration, Gandy was also ordered to supervised release for the rest of his life, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. He must also register as a sex offender.

Gandy initially came on law enforcement’s radar when immigration officers from the United Kingdom Border Force stopped him in July 2012 after he and a minor male child arrived in London on a flight originating in Houston. Sensing something was wrong about a man of Gandy’s age traveling with an unrelated 15-year-old boy, the U.K. refused them entry and returned them to Houston on separate flights.

Once they arrived in Houston, HSI Houston launched an investigation which revealed Gandy ran a massage business out of his home and was using the young boy to give massages to clients. During these massages, paying customers were allowed to fondle the child.  The boy was also required to sexually gratify customers by masturbating them.

Gandy paid for the trip to London and the child’s passport fees. Gandy intended that the child perform massages in London during the 2012 Olympics.  This investigation also revealed Gandy molested the child on more than one occasion and intended to continue doing so. 

After authorities had detained Gandy on the original charge of transporting a minor, further investigation revealed there were multiple young men whom Gandy had victimized, some as minors and some as adults. During trial, four of the identified victims – who were all minors when they were exploited – testified how Gandy manipulated them into performing massages on men which culminated in sexually gratifying the client. 

Following the sentencing, Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson, HSI Houston, credited the partnerships that HSI has under Operation Predator for the successful investigation that led to the conviction and sentencing.

“Thanks to the outstanding partnership that we have with the U.K. Border Force under Operation Predator, we have sent a resounding message that the global law enforcement community is united in our mission to bring to justice those who victimize children.”

Gandy remains in custody pending his transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sherri L. Zack and Kimberly Ann Leo, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2017, more than 2,700 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 900 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.