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Press Release

Texas man sentenced prison after traveling to Virginia for sex with a minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Texas man was sentenced today to 17 years and six months in prison after he was caught traveling to Virginia to have sex with a minor.

According to court documents, on Aug. 25, 2023, Elisha Jason Albert, 25, of Garland, Texas, began communicating with a 15-year-old victim through Snapchat. The communications began with Albert soliciting pornographic material from the victim, and Albert paid the victim to send him pornographic images. Albert also sent the victim spending money for incidental expenses.

On Sept. 8, 2023, after Albert falsely claimed to be 22 years old, the victim specifically told Albert that she was only 15. After knowing the victim’s age, Albert continued to solicit pornographic images of the victim and proposed meeting the victim in Virginia for sex.

After the victim’s guardian submitted an online tip to the FBI, on Sept. 22, 2023, the FBI took custody of the victim’s phone and continued to communicate with Albert over Snapchat and by text messages. Albert proposed meeting the victim on Sept. 25, 2023, and arranged to meet at a grocery store in Haymarket. Albert drove five and a half hours from Long Island, New York, to Prince William County, Virginia. He was arrested upon his arrival in the grocery store parking lot.

At the time of his arrest, Albert had with him his phone, which contained a folder titled “good videos” that stored sixty-four videos of children as young as four to six years old engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Albert’s phone had iMessage communications with other minors between fifteen and sixteen years old, which included additional production of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and incidents of coercion and enticement.

For example, beginning in August 2021, Albert engaged with a victim in Texas knowing that she was only 15 years old. Albert drove to the victim’s home and had sex with her on multiple occasions. Albert made a video recording of one of his sexual encounters with the victim, which was still on his phone at the time of his arrest.

On Feb. 1, Albert pled guilty to production of child pornography, attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and transportation of child pornography.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and David J. Scott, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office's Criminal and Cyber Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Michael S. Nachmanoff.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura D. Withers and Zoe Bedell prosecuted the case.  The Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force investigated the case.

This case 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 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:23-cr-172.

Contact

Press Officer
USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov

Updated May 16, 2024

Topic
Project Safe Childhood