HOUSTON—Jacob Daniel West, 34, has been ordered to prison for 13 years following his conviction of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. West pleaded guilty July 11, 2013.
U.S. District Judge Sim Lake, who accepted the plea, heard a statement written by the victim’s grandmother and handed West a sentence of 156 months in federal prison, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release. West will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
West travelled with the 14-year-old minor female from Texas through several states over the course of approximately a week in January 2013. They travelled together through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, New York, Virginia, and the Carolinas before arriving in Florida.
The victim had engaged in sex acts on previous occasions with West, who was a neighbor of her mother and father. She was legally in the custody of her grandmother but had been staying with her parents on occasion at the time she left the area with West.
On January 28, 2013, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office in Ft. Pierce, Florida, located West’s car at a Sleep Inn hotel. West had rented a room at the hotel the previous night during which time he engaged in sexual activity with the victim. Officers had observed the room and arrested West as he exited.
West admitted he stole an AR-15, handguns, money, and credit cards from a deceased friend in Texas prior to leaving the state with the victim.
West will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service investigated.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sherri Zack, 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "Resources."