From the United States Department of Justice for the District of Montana:

Today, it was announced a Wyoming man convicted for his role in arranging for commercial sex in Billings, then lying to federal investigators about it, was sentenced today to 1 year of probation and fined $7,500.

Mark Jay Albrecht, 66, of Gillette, Wyoming was found guilty by U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters on February 20th of use of facility in interstate commerce in aid of racketeering and making a false statement following a 1-day bench trial.

According to the court:

The government alleged that on April 21, 2021, law enforcement responded to a report of possible commercial sex activity at a Billings motel. Billings PD officers knocked on the door of the suspect's room and announced themselves.

A woman, identified as Ashley Stella, of Reno, Nevada, Jane Doe 1, who was a minor at the time, and Albrecht emerged. Albrecht was seen buttoning up his shirt as he exited the room.

Albrecht initially denied to police and FBI officers that he was in the room for a sexual encounter, and offered various stories as to why he was at the hotel room. In the end, Albrecht acknowledged going to the room to engage in commercial sex and using a social media website and his cell phone to arrange for commercial sex.

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Stella acknowledges in interviews that Albrecht was in the room for commercial sex and that Jane Doe 1 traveled with her for the purpose of commercial sex. As part of the federal investigation, Albrecht arrived for an interview with law enforcement in May 2021 and repeatedly stated that he did not go to the motel for the purpose of commercial sex.

Instead, Albrecht offered another story about why he was communicating with Stella. Albrecht never admitted he was soliciting commercial sex during his May 2021 interview, contrary to facts known by law enforcement. Stella was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for conviction of transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution.

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