A Metamora man has been sentenced to a staggering 15 years behind bars for a chilling attempt to engage in the sex trafficking of a minor, federal officials said. Dana Anthony Curtin, 50, must also endure a lifetime of supervised release once he's served his 180-month prison term and is mandated to register as a sex offender, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of Illinois.
Curtin's nefarious plans came to a screeching halt after a trial in front of U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid revealed that between March and May 2022, he was caught in a sting operation. Traveling under the guise of meeting up with an adult offering sexual access to a child, Curtin was ambushed and arrested by federal agents at the pre-arranged meet-up spot, as detailed in court documents.
Arrested on May 20 last year, the indictment against Curtin followed on June 7, with a jury convicting him on June 15, 2023, after a trial that laid bare the harrowing reality of his crimes. The sentence, handed down a day before the announcement, fell in line with the statutory penalties for attempted sex trafficking of a minor, which range from 15 years to life in prison, accompanied by five years to a lifetime of supervised release and potential fines of up to $250,000.
An investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Springfield Field Office and the Illinois State Police helped to build the case against Curtin. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ronald L. Hanna and Keith Hollingshead-Cook were at the helm of the prosecution. "The case against Curtin was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse," reported the U.S. Attorney's Office. The program aligns federal, state, and local efforts to better find and prosecute internet predators and aid their victims.