SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Blake Lee Bissell, 28, of Haughton, Louisiana, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to serve seven and a half years in prison for persuading a minor to travel with him from West Virginia to Louisiana in order to engage in illegal sexual activity. Bissell previously pleaded guilty on January 16, 2019, to one count of coercion and enticement to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Blake Bissell began an online relationship with a 14-year-old in early 2018. He used a cell phone and social media applications to send text messages and other electronic communications to the victim in order to convince the victim to travel to the Western District of Louisiana. Shortly thereafter, Bissell traveled to West Virginia on June 30, 2018, picked up the minor and transported the minor back to Louisiana where they engaged in illegal sexual activity.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood combines 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.
Those concerned may leave tips with the FBI at tips.fbi.gov. Tips may be submitted anonymously. The Shreveport FBI office number is (318) 861-1890.
The FBI and the Wheeling Police Department of West Virginia conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian C. Flanagan and Earl M. Campbell prosecuted the case.
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