A 38-year-old SeaTac man was sentenced Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2022 in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 25 years in prison for four federal felonies related to child sexual abuse, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.
Brandan L. Wilkins pleaded guilty in February 2021, to travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor; possession of child pornography; receipt of child pornography; and enticement of a minor.
At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour noted that the sexual abuse of minors had occurred over a long period of time, and he said he was “particularly offended” by examples of Wilkins electronic chats with young children where he pressured them to send him sexually explicit images.
“Mr. Wilkins’ pattern of predatory and dangerous conduct left a trail of traumatized children in his wake,” said U.S. Attorney Brown. “This lengthy sentence and the lifetime of supervised release imposed, are necessary to protect the children in our community.”
According to records filed in the case, in July 2018, an electronic service provider notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that an internet account later linked to the defendant received a video of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Law enforcement identified Wilkins as the owner of the internet account. A search of his online activity revealed Wilkins was posing as a 13-year-old boy to solicit sexually explicit pictures from young teens. When law enforcement served a search warrant at Wilkins’ residence, they seized electronic devices containing thousands of images of child pornography.
When law enforcement searched Wilkins’ wallet, they found a student ID card for a youth that Wilkins had befriended. Interviews with Wilkins and the youth revealed Wilkins had traveled with the victim to various locations to engage in sexual activity. In 2009 and 2011, Wilkins traveled with the youth who was then 12-years old to Disneyland and other locations where he engaged in sexual activity with the child. Wilkins admits he posed as a ‘father figure’ for the boy so he could have access to the child. The abuse began when the child was just 8 years old.
In asking for the lengthy sentence and lifetime supervised release Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson wrote to the court:
“By sexually exploiting his many victims, the defendant has forever impacted their lives in ways that may have significant long-term health consequences. What these victims endured at his hands has the potential for severe lifelong psychological consequences to their self-esteem and well-being.”
Wilkins was employed as a TSA agent at Sea-Tac Airport. He has been in custody since his arrest in December 2018.
Wilkins will next be appearing in King County Superior Court to face charges of sex offenses against a minor. King County is recommending a sentence of 290 months in custody – that sentence will run concurrently with his federal sentence.
The case was investigated by the Kent Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations as part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by 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 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.
Kent PD Detectives worked tirelessly alongside @HSISeattle to identify, locate, arrest, prosecute and finally sentence this predator of our children. Nice job to every piece of our criminal justice system. #kentpdway https://t.co/n1Rdl5Xlzh
— Kent Police (@kentpd) March 3, 2022