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Texarkana high school band instructor guilty of federal child exploitation violation

TEXARKANA, Texas – A Texarkana man has pleaded guilty to a child exploitation violation in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs.

Brandon Neil Sams, 48, pleaded guilty on March 19, 2024, to coercion and enticement of a minor before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Boone Baxter.

According to court documents, while serving as a band instructor at Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas, Sams engaged in repeated attempts to coerce and entice several of his students to engage in sexual activity.  Sams admitted to engaging in sexual conduct with several minor victims, all of whom were his students at Texas High.  Sams would communicate with the students on social media and messaging applications to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce them to participate in sexual activity.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Sams with federal child exploitation violations in September 2023.  He faces up to life in federal prison.  The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.  A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations and the Texarkana Independent School District.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Austin Wells.

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