Ithaca Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Online Enticement of a Minor
BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK – Jeffrey Blake, age 50, of Ithaca, New York, pled guilty today to attempted online enticement of a minor.
The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Nicholas B. Boshears, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
As part of his guilty plea Blake admitted that between June 12, 2019 and August 23, 2019, he exchanged text messages with an undercover officer he believed was the mother of 9 and 13 year old girls. In those messages, Blake expressed an interest in meeting the children and engaging in sex acts with them. He also communicated by text messaging with the undercover agent posing as each of the children. In those communications Blake assured the children that sex with him would not be painful, and that he would take precautions to keep the 13-year-old from getting pregnant. On August 23, 2019, Blake drove to a pre-determined location in Broome County to meet and have sex with the children. He brought with him vibrators and VCF birth control film as well as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and stuffed animals that he planned to give to the children as gifts. Blake was then encountered by law enforcement and arrested.
As a result of his conviction, Blake faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of between five years and life. He will also be required to register as a sex offender. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors. Sentencing is scheduled for September 28, 2021 before Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.
This case is being investigated by the FBI Syracuse Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force. This task force is comprised of FBI Special Agents and Investigators of the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey J. L. Brown as part of Project Safe Childhood. Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorney’s offices and the Criminal Division’s 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.