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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Maryland Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison For Pandering and Child Cruelty

Defendant Led Police on a Pursuit With a One-Year-Old in His Car

            WASHINGTON –Branden Dixon, 24, who led police on a pursuit earlier this year with a one-year-old girl in his car, has been sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of pandering and first-degree cruelty to children, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced today.

 

            Dixon, of Waldorf, Md., pled guilty in June 2017, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Hiram E. Puig-Lugo sentenced him on July 28, 2017 to three years in prison for pandering and an additional four years for the child cruelty charge. Following his prison term, Dixon will be placed on three years of supervised release.

 

            According to the government’s evidence, in October 2016, Dixon took pictures of a woman and posted her on a known prostitution site. He and the woman resided at a motel in Northeast Washington, where several of the commercial sex encounters occurred. Dixon directed the woman to provide commercial sex to customers and he kept all proceeds. Dixon was arrested on Nov. 3, 2016 and charged with pandering. He was released, but then failed to show up for a hearing set for Jan 4, 2017. A judge issued a bench warrant that day for his arrest.

 

            Later, at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2017, Dixon picked up a man and the man’s one-year-old daughter from a restaurant in Maryland and drove them to the 1600 block of Morris Road SE. The father left Dixon with the girl in the car while he went inside an apartment building to retrieve some belongings. While the father was away, officers with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) saw Dixon’s Audi and believed its out-of-state tag looked fake.

 

            The police officers pulled behind Dixon’s car, and at that point, Dixon began to drive away. The child was still in the car and not in a car seat. Officers followed Dixon a short distance, while trying to run the tags on the vehicle. Dixon pulled into the 1800 block of Gainesville Road SE, which is a dead-end street. An officer exited the marked police car to approach Dixon’s car, but Dixon slammed the Audi in reverse, ramming into two police cars and almost striking an officer before he managed to maneuver out of the block.

 

            The pursuit continued as it traversed into Maryland then into Virginia. During the pursuit, Dixon placed the little girl in the front seat with him and strapped her into the front passenger-side seat belt because she was crying. He crossed the Woodrow Wilson Bridge into Virginia, where he wrecked the vehicle near Exit 176 of I-495 in Fairfax County, Va.

 

            Dixon and the child were taken to a hospital. The girl was seriously injured, suffering a concussion and a fractured left femur that required multiple surgeries, an almost complete body cast, and weeks of physical therapy.

 

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of those who investigated the cases from the Metropolitan Police Department and the Virginia State Police. He also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Alexandria, Va. Police Department, and Fairfax County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Marin Hoplamazian. He acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Tiffany Jones and Victim/Witness Advocate Tracy Owusu. Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa Price and Kenya Davis, who prosecuted the matters.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
17-169
Updated August 1, 2017