SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Haughton man has been sentenced 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 activity, according to the federal prosecutors.
Blake Lee Bissell, 28, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to 90 months after pleading guilty in January to one count of coercion and enticement to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana says 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 Louisiana. Shortly thereafter, they Bissell traveled to West Virginia on Jone 30, 2018, picked up the minor and transported the minor back to Louisiana where they engaged in illegal sexual activity.
The 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. Attorney’s 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, 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 in West Virginia conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian C. Flanagan and Earl M. Campbell prosecuted the case.