Conroe Man Guilty of Interstate Transportation of a Minor
|July 11, 2013|
HOUSTON – Jacob Daniel West, 33, has entered a plea of guilty to transporting a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
According to the factual basis as presented in court, West travelled with the 14-year-old minor female from Texas through several states over the course of approximately a week in January 2013. They travelled together through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, New York, Virginia and the Carolinas before arriving in Florida.
The victim had engaged in sex acts on previous occasions with West, who was a neighbor of her mother and father in Conroe. She was legally in the custody of her grandmother but had been staying with her parents on occasion at the time she left the area with West.
On Jan. 28, 2013, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office in Ft. Pierce, Fla., located West’s car at a Sleep Inn hotel. West had rented a room at the hotel the previous night during which time he engaged in sexual activity with the victim. Officers had observed the room and arrested West as he exited.
West admitted he stole an AR-15, hand guns, money and credit cards from a deceased friend in Texas prior to leaving the state with the victim.
U.S. District Judge Sim Lake, who accepted the guilty plea today, has set sentencing for Sept. 25, 2013, at which time West faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a $250,000 fine.
FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service investigated.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sherri Zack, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."