BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A South Texas man was sentenced, Jan. 8, to 10 years in federal prison for attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.
This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Task Force.
Dassahed Marines, 29, from McAllen, Texas, was also sentenced to 20 years of supervised release to be served immediately following his release from prison, 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.
Marines pleaded guilty to the charges on Oct. 16, 2019.
According to court documents, between Dec. 6 -7, 2018, Marines utilized a cell phone as well as the social media app called Whisper and KIK messaging app to attempt to persuade and entice a 13-year-old girl to engage in unlawful sexual activity. He made initial contact through Whisper but continued messaging the minor explicit messages via KIK. In those conversations, he attempted to persuade the minor to meet at a local park for a sexual encounter. Marines was arrested once he arrived at the location.
Marines will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
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 25,000 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 2019, more than 3,500 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 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.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. 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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ana C. Cano, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.