Leichester Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Sex Traffic a Minor
ROCHESTER, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Ashlee Cook, 24, of Leichester, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiring to recruit an underage girl to commit a commercial sex act before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that Cook and her boyfriend, Jacob Shamp, 23, posted an ad on Backpage.com, advertising a minor victim for prostitution. Law enforcement officers conducted an undercover operation and arranged to meet the girl in Gates, NY. When officers arrived, they took a statement from the minor victim.
Jacob Shamp was convicted of the same charge. Both defendants will be sentenced on September 4, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. respectively before Judge Geraci.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Craig Hanesworth, and the Gates Police Department, under the direction of Chief James VanBrederode.