A Warren real estate agent has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for conspiring to sexually exploit children.
Dennis Michael Putman, 60, admitted that he used the WhatsApp messaging application to conspire with another individual to produce sexually explicit images of minors, with his co-conspirator producing and sending him at least one video of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
During a drug investigation, officials discovered the offenses when they searched Putman’s residence.
The 60-year-old man cooperated regarding his role in the drug offense and directed officers to look at his WhatsApp account for drug-related messages.
Officials found sexually explicit conversations with his co-conspirator regarding the exploitation of children and a sexually explicit video of a minor in the app.
The conversation spanned nearly two months, with Putman frequently demanding that his co-conspirator produce sexually explicit images of young minors that often were in her care.
The real estate agent secured his drug-addicted and impoverished co-conspirator’s involvement by frequently paying her small sums of money.
“This defendant took advantage of his co-conspirator’s drug addiction and mental health issues to cause the exploitation of children,” said U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison. “This sentence reflects his role in this disturbing crime.”
“Predators who seek to exploit children, whether by themselves or through others, will be caught and brought to justice,” said HSI Detroit Special Agent in Charge Angie M. Salazar. “I’m proud of the law enforcement partners and prosecutors who helped remove this threat to our communities.”