Take it from someone who knows: British customs and immigration officials are a suspicious lot. Sometimes it's a major pain, like when they tear your bags apart for an hour in a fruitless search for drugs because you've arrived from Amsterdam looking scruffy and fatigued.
Other times, it's damned impressive, as in the case of 35-year-old Houstonian Jason Daniel Gandy and his 15-year-old male companion.
According to a press release from the Department of Justice, when that duo arrived in London on a flight from Intercontinental, an official wanted to know why a teenager would be traveling with an older man to whom he was not related. Evidently Gandy failed to assuage those misgivings, because he and the boy were placed on separate flights back to IAH, where they were met by Homeland Security agents.
And what a sordid tale those agents were told....
According to the release, Gandy runs a massage business out of his home on Truxillo Street in Third Ward, and the 15-year-old was one of his employees. Customers were allegedly allowed to fondle the boy and the boy was required to both massage in the nude and provide happy endings. (Our term, not the DoJ's.)
Gandy paid the boy's way to London -- airfare and passport fees. Apparently he planned to set up shop "relieving the stress" of the bigwigs in town for the Olympic games. Federal investigators also claim that Gandy "molested the child on more than one occasion and intended to continue to do so."
For the morbidly curious, Gandy's Web site is here . He proudly offers "a wide range of massage techniques," and notes that "Stress is just as devastating to your body as is sickness, disease and poor lifestyle habits. Massage therapy is extremely important to your overall health." The site is heavy on assuring the privacy of not just his customers, but even those who click on the page.
We're wondering if his former patrons are hoping that Gandy slacked on record-keeping; if what the feds are alleging is true, his is one "little black book" you wouldn't want your name in.
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So yeah, that privacy notice is one ominous, minor-key note on his website. Another is the bevy of shirtless, "MySpace deluxe" iPhone self-portraits. That type of shot certainly does not say "I am a very serious masseur, and mine is a perfectly legit massage business." And what is it about those pics that reminds me so much of those infamously sleazy mid-'90s Calvin Klein TV ads?
Before it was taken down yesterday afternoon, there was a chirpy little note up there saying that Gandy would be in London for the next month. Not so fast, mate.
If convicted, Gandy faces ten years to life imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. Once free, Gandy would face a maximum lifetime term of supervised release.