Skip to main content
Press Release

Wyoming man sentenced, fined $7,500 for role in Billings commercial sex investigation, lying to investigators

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

BILLINGS — A Wyoming man convicted for his role in arranging for commercial sex in Billings and then lying to federal investigators was sentenced today to one year of probation and fined $7,500, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

On Feb. 20, U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters found the defendant, Mark Jay Albrecht, 66, of Gillette, Wyoming, guilty of use of facility in interstate commerce in aid of racketeering and making a false statement following a one-day bench trial. Judge Watters presided at sentencing.

In court documents and at trial, the government alleged that on April 21, 2021, law enforcement responded to a report of possible commercial sex activity at a Billings motel. Billings police officers knocked on the door of the suspect room and announced themselves. A woman, identified as Ashley Stella, of Reno, Nevada, Jane Doe 1, who was a minor at the time, and Albrecht emerged. Albrecht was seen buttoning up his shirt as he exited the room. Albrecht initially denied to police and FBI officers that he was in the room for a sexual encounter and offered various stories about why he was there. Ultimately, Albrecht acknowledged going to the room to engage in commercial sex and using a social media website and his cell phone to arrange for commercial sex. Stella acknowledged in interviews that Albrecht was in the room for commercial sex, and that Jane Doe 1 traveled with her for the purpose of commercial sex. Following the events of April 21, 2021, law enforcement began a federal sex trafficking investigation.

As part of the federal investigation, Albrecht arrived for an interview with law enforcement in May 2021 and repeatedly stated that he did not go to the motel for the purpose of commercial sex. Rather, Albrecht offered another story about why he was communicating with Stella. Albrecht never admitted he was soliciting commercial sex during his May 2021 interview, contrary to facts known by law enforcement. Stella was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for conviction of transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. The FBI, IRS and Billings Police Department conducted the investigation.



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated April 17, 2024

Human Trafficking
Press Release Number: 24-100