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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 18, 2015

St. Petersburg Man Sentenced For Attempting To Entice Children Online And For Sending Obscene Material

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell today sentenced Sandi S. McGann (30, St. Petersburg) to 10 years in federal prison for attempting to entice and coerce minors to engage in illegal sexual activity, and for transferring obscene matter to individuals that he believed were under the age of 16.

According to court documents, between December 10, 2014, and February 12, 2015, McGann communicated online and attempted to persuade a 14-year-old “child” to engage in illegal sexual activity with him.  The “child” actually was an undercover agent from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations posing as a ninth grade girl living in Clearwater.  Further investigation revealed that McGann had also engaged in sexually explicit online chats with another Homeland Security agent posing as a child online.  He also communicated online with a 14-year “child” living in California named “Amanda.” “Amanda” was actually the founder of the “Demand Project,” a nonprofit organization in Oklahoma designed to help law enforcement identify individuals who pose a risk to children.  During the various online chat sessions with individuals McGann believed were under the age of 16, McGann repeatedly masturbated while on his webcam.

“Predators who target innocent children for their own criminal gratification are warned that law enforcement will not rest until they are brought to justice,” said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. “HSI, along with our federal, state, and local partners, will continue identifying and arresting those who would even attempt to victimize the young and defenseless in such a deplorable way.”

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda C. Kaiser.

This case was 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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated September 18, 2015