Former color guard instructor faces federal & state charges

Brandon Sams detained by U.S. Marshalls

Story by Reese Langdon and Macy Maynard

Brandon Sams faces more charges stemming from an arrest on Sept. 26, 2022. After posting bond in Bowie County, Texas, U.S. Marshalls detained Sams and moved him to the Harrison County Jail in Marshall, Texas.

A former Texas High color guard instructor was arrested on Sept. 26, 2022, by Texarkana Arkansas police. He fled from TISD police while being questioned at the Texarkana ISD Welcome Center located on Kennedy Ln where the district’s human resources office is located. While on his unsuccessful run, he claims to have thrown his phone out the window of his car while driving eastbound on Interstate 30. The Texarkana Arkansas Police searched for the phone but never recovered it.

Sams appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Boone Baxter on Oct. 7, 2022, on federal charges of enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice.

In the complaint presented to the federal court, Brandon Neil Sams allegedly attempted to entice or persuade a minor into sexual activity from March to August 2022. The defendant waived the issue of detention during his court appearance.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed in Bowie County, Sams is accused of purchasing a laptop and gifting a credit card and debit card to the student. He also allegedly offered to pay for sexual activities and requested videos and pictures of sexual nature. These gifts and screenshots of the conversations are being used against him as evidence. 

The victim’s parents became worried that Sams was grooming their child because of the gifts he purchased for the victim, so they took their concerns to TISD officials. Upon investigation, TISD Police discovered messages from March 2022 to August 2022 in which Sams pursued an improper relationship with the victim. 

“Student and Staff safety will continue to be at the forefront for the TISD Police Department,” TISD chief of police Brad Irvin said. 

Sams is being held by the Department of Homeland Security on federal charges. TISD Police previously charged Sams with an improper relationship between an educator and a student, tampering with evidence and evading arrest stemming from the same allegations. 

Sams is currently in the Harrison County Jail after originally being held in Bowie County prior to his release because he paid 10% of his $70,000 bond. U.S. Marshalls took Sams into custody upon his release from Bowie County.

Homeland Security and TISD police are investigating further into the case. Assistant U.S Attorney Jonathan Hornock is prosecuting the case on the federal level.

If convicted of enticement of a minor, Sams faces a minimum of 10 years in federal prison. If convicted of obstruction, he could serve a minimum of 20 years in federal prison or can be sentenced to life without parole. 

On a state level, if convicted of improper relationship between educator and student in Bowie County, Sams faces two to 20 years in a Texas prison.

The parents of Texas High have shown concern but are at ease that Sams is behind bars and out of the school system, away from their children. 

“As a mother [of a Texas High School student] and former [TISD] teacher, I am relieved to see that Mr. Sams will be behind bars,” Corie Woodman said.  “TISD is a great place to be, and I know we all stand together to take care of our students, staff, and families.”