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Source: US State of North Dakota

Fargo – United States Attorney Drew H. Wrigley announced that on January 22, 2020, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Peter D. Welte sentenced Dustin James Gilleo, age 33, Wahpeton, ND, to serve 10 years in federal prison, followed by a 15 years of supervised release for the charge of Transportation of a Minor.  Gilleo was further ordered to pay $100 in special assessments to the Crime Victims’ Fund and $900 in restitution to the North Dakota Crimes Victims’ Compensation.

            “The internet erased distance and created the opportunity for this defendant to entice a juvenile away from the safety of her home and into the sordid web of a sexual predator,” said United States Attorney Drew Wrigley, “I commend the work of each law enforcement entity involved in this case, as their swift action avoided further victimization and put this predator away.”

On January 3, 2019, the Beautfort County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina, reported that a missing juvenile female from Burton, SC, had been located via cellular phone tracking at the Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) International Airport.  Further investigation by the MSP Airport Security revealed the missing juvenile entered a vehicle belonging to Dustin Gilleo of Wahpeton, ND.  On January 4, 2020, the Wahpeton Police Department located the missing juvenile female at a residence in Wahpeton, ND, at which time law enforcement removed the juvenile from the residence, and later interviewed her.  During the interview, she said she left her residence in South Carolina and met Gilleo at the MSP Airport as they had previously planned.  Gilleo then drove the juvenile to his residence in Wahpeton, ND, where Gilleo and the juvenile engaged in sexual intercourse.

Gilleo admitted that the female found at his apartment was the missing juvenile from Burton, South Carolina. Gilleo acknowledged meeting the juvenile online and the two had been communicating for over five months. Gilleo admitted their communications were sexual in nature and that they had exchanged sexually explicit images of one another via text and various apps.  Gilleo further admitted that he knew the girl was 16 years old at the time she travelled to North Dakota, and he admitted to having sexual intercourse with the girl at his apartment. 

United States Attorney Drew Wrigley commended those involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case, the Homeland Security Investigation, North Dakota Bureau of Investigation, Wahpeton Police Department, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina, and Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl.

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