Ex-School Band Director Pleads Guilty To Federal Enticing Minors For Sex, State Charges Pending


TEXARKANA, Texas–A former band director for a Texarkana, Texas, high school pleaded guilty Thursday to enticement and coercement of minors for sex before a federal judge while state charges of improper relationship, evading arrest and evidence tampering remain pending.

Brandon Neil Sams, 48, admitted at a hearing Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Boone Baxter that he used a cell phone to solicit sex from two male students. He faces 10 years to life in federal prison at sentencing, which is expected to occur in several months.

Specifically, Sams coerced the first victim into sexual activity in 2018 and 2019 and that he attempted to solicit sex from a second victim in 2022, according to court documents.

Sams came to the attention of law enforcement in 2022 when the boy’s parents reported him after seeing disturbing exchanges between Sams and their child on a cell phone that they believed was evidence of sexual grooming common among pedophiles, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The parents provided an officer with a debit card and a credit card which Sams allegedly gave the boy to use and showed text messages on the boy’s phone allegedly sent by Sams using Whats App in which he speaks of “gay for pay.” Sams allegedly gave the student a laptop computer in exchange for a sexually graphic photo, the affidavit said.

Sams allegedly became “visibly nervous” when asked if he would allow an officer to examine his phone. While the officer was out of the room making arrangements to acquire a search warrant for Sams’ phone, Sams allegedly left the building.

When the officer approached Sams in the parking lot and told him he was not free to leave, Sams allegedly fled. The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department and Texarkana Texas Police Department assisted Texarkana Independent School District police in locating Sams at his residence in the 1300 block of Hudson Place where he was arrested for felony evading arrest.

Sams allegedly told Arkansas-side detectives that he had thrown his phone out the passenger-side window of his car while traveling on Interstate 30. Officers with a K9 unit searched the area but were unable to find the phone. TAPD officers acquired a warrant for Sams’ home but were unable to locate the device there either.

Sams has been charged with improper relationship between educator and student, evading arrest and tampering with evidence in Bowie County. Those charges remain pending and court records indicate there are outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Sams’ plea documents in his federal case include an admission that he targeted two boys under 18 and that he “fled and destroyed my cell phone because I did not want it used in a criminal prosecution against me.”

Sams will return to court for sentencing in his federal case once a presentence report, including a recommendation for punishment under federal guidelines has been received. Sams faces a 10-year minimum and up to life in federal prison as well as the possibility of a $250,000 fine and a possible assessment of $5,000 that would go to a fund to assist victims of sex trafficking.

Sams’ federal indictment includes a notice that the government intends to seek his forfeiture of an Apple watch, computer and gaming equipment.

There is no parole from a federal prison sentence, however, offenders may earn up to 54 days credit per year toward their terms for good behavior.

If convicted in state court of improper relationship between educator and student, Sams faces two to 20 years in a Texas prison.

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