News and Press Releases

ava man pleads guilty to transporting a minor for illicit sex

March 16, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Ava, Mo., man pleaded guilty today to transporting a minor across state lines for illicit sex on what would have been the second day of his jury trial in federal court.

            Shane Jay Fleetwood, 41, of Ava, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr, interrupting a jury trial that began yesterday.

            Evidence introduced on the first day of the trial indicated that Fleetwood met the victim’s family at a church near Ava and Fleetwood’s daughter befriended the victim. The victim’s parents allowed Fleetwood, a professional truck driver, to take the victim, who was 15 years old at the time, on a weekend trip to Kansas with he and his daughter in February 2010. However, they later learned that Fleetwood’s daughter didn’t accompany them on the trip.

            Fleetwood’s victim testified at trial that she and Fleetwood engaged in sexual intercourse in his semi-truck during their trip to Kansas, as well as at Fleetwood’s residence after their return. The victim’s parents confronted her about the relationship after they discovered a Valentine’s Day card and letter that Fleetwood had given his victim.

            Under federal statutes, Fleetwood is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Wright County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Douglas County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.

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