Portland Gang Member Sentenced to Federal Prison for Straw Purchasing 64 Firearms and Trafficking Dozens to Unlawful Possessors
PORTLAND, Ore.—On May 30, 2023, a previously convicted sex offender residing in Corvallis, Oregon was sentenced to federal prison for attempting to entice a minor online and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Thomas Anthony Lanier, 24, a resident of Corvallis, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison and a life term of supervised release.
According to court documents, in November 2019, Lanier, a convicted sex offender since he was 18, was charged in Sunnyside, Washington with second degree kidnapping and domestic violence after he tried to kidnap the one-year-old child of a woman he met online. Lanier is alleged to have grabbed the infant while the child’s mother was in the shower. When the woman ran outside and yelled for help, Lanier wrapped his arm around her neck and threatened to kill her. Lanier was later released pending trial in Yakima County Superior Court.
In June 2020, Lanier met a Keizer, Oregon, woman online. Lanier pressured the woman to solicit babysitting jobs on Craigslist so he could have access to children. Lanier later expressed his desire to have sex with the woman’s 12-year-old cousin who he had seen in a photo. After these exchanges, the woman reported Lanier to law enforcement.
On July 9, 2020, at the direction of a police detective from the Salem Police Department, the woman gave Lanier the address of a house in Salem, Oregon where she claimed her minor cousin lived. The house was, in fact, vacant and owned by the City of Salem. Lanier planned to meet the woman and her cousin at the residence, purchase alcohol with them, and engage in sexual activity with both of them. When Lanier arrived at the house, he was met by law enforcement and arrested.
On July 8, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a four-count indictment charging Lanier with attempting to entice a minor online, accessing with intent to view child pornography, illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and committing a felony offense involving a minor as a registered sex offender.
On January 5, 2023, Lanier pleaded guilty to attempting to entice a minor online and illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.
This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Keizer and Salem Police Departments. It was prosecuted by Gary Y. Sussman, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.