Leesburg Man Sentenced To More Than 30 Years For Committing Crimes Of Violence
Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza has sentenced Dane Gillis (59, Leesburg) to 30 years and 5 months in federal prison for attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, soliciting an undercover federal agent to commit kidnapping, and transmitting interstate commerce threats to kidnap and injure a former co-worker. The Court also ordered Gillis to forfeit the electronic devices that he had used to commit the offenses.
Gillis was found guilty by a jury on May 12, 2016.
According to evidence presented at trial, Gillis posted an ad on Craigslist stating, “Looking for a guy or group who r into extremely taboo scenes. Hi risk and reward for the right sadistic Pervert.” An undercover federal agent responded to the ad and stated that he was the father of an 11-year-old daughter. Gillis communicated with the agent through email and text for two weeks. During these communications, Gillis made arrangements to have sex with the child and also solicited the agent to help him kidnap and rape a former co-worker.
On September 16, 2015, Gillis drove over an hour from his home to meet with the “father and child,” and was arrested. Forensic analyses of Gillis’s smartphone and computer, which he had brought to the meeting, revealed that Gillis had conducted Internet searches for kidnapping, rape, and for prepubescent child pornography. Gillis also had saved scores of pictures of the intended kidnapping victim on his computer. Through additional investigation, agents learned that Gillis had been soliciting individuals to help him kidnap and rape the victim for nearly a year.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Karen L. Gable and Emily C.L. Chang.
It is another case brought as 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 United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.