Semmes Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Possessing a Machinegun in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking
United States Attorney Sean P. Costello of the Southern District of Alabama announced that Chief United States District Judge Jeffrey Beaverstock sentenced defendant Nathaniel Blancher, 38, to forty years in prison for Transportation of a Minor for Criminal Sexual Activity, Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct, and Penalties for Registered Sex Offenders. Blancher entered a guilty plea to those offenses on October 28, 2021.
According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, on May 29, 2021, Nathaniel Blancher, a convicted sex offender, left his home in Mobile and drove to Louisville, Kentucky, and picked up a 14-year-old girl and returned to Mobile with her. When the girl’s parents discovered that she was missing, they immediately contacted law enforcement in Kentucky. Kentucky law enforcement was able to find Blancher’s cell phone number on the Caller ID, and they used that information to track Blancher back to Mobile. Mobile Police Department officers responded to Blancher’s home. Blancher initially denied that the girl was with him, but eventually relented and let officers into his home where they found the girl hiding in the bathroom. The girl was forensically interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center in Mobile. She admitted that she had sexual intercourse with Blancher, who is 38 years old, in his apartment when they arrived in Mobile. She also admitted to being in an online relationship with Blancher for approximately three years. She reported that Blancher knew she was 14 years old and younger during the course of their relationship. She said that Blancher had previously traveled to Louisville approximately one month earlier, and they had engaged in sex acts at a hotel in Louisville.
Blancher previously had been convicted of Possession of Child Pornography on October 21, 2020. As a result of this conviction, Blancher was required to register as a sex offender. Blancher was on probation for that offense when he traveled to Kentucky to pick up the 14-year-old girl.
The victim and her parents were present at the sentencing hearing and addressed the Court by submitting written letters.
Chief Judge Beaverstock imposed a forty year sentence of incarceration. The judge also ordered Blancher to serve a twenty-five year term of supervised release upon his discharge from prison. Judge Beaverstock ordered that Blancher pay $10,400 in special assessments. Blancher will be required to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Mobile Police Department, and the Louisville Police Department investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Kacey Chappelear prosecuted 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 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc/publications-resources.