The US District Court has sentenced a man from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to 15 years in prison for transporting a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
No possibility of parole
Jacob Gardea, 24, who is in federal custody, will be registered as a sex offender after his release from prison and will have to serve ten years of supervised release. Gardea will be transferred to a federal penitentiary under the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons after the designation of one. Receiving a federal sentence means that Gardea will have to serve his time without the possibility of parole.
Nude pictures and videos
Gardea met the victim, Aubrey Joelle Acree from Rutherford County, North Carolina, on the internet in August 2018. According to court records, he told the 13-year-old minor that he was only 16 years old. According to the probable cause affidavit, he exchanged nude pictures and videos with the girl. In November 2018, Gardea traveled from New Mexico to North Carolina — a distance of 1,500 miles, to meet the minor.
After picking up the minor, he traveled west toward New Mexico with her. Arcee's mother reported her missing from Mooresboro, North Carolina, and law enforcement jumped into action. The girl's pictures with her name were distributed and a missing person alert was sent out. Following this, an extensive four-day search involving multiple law enforcement agencies was launched. After finally tracing Gardea and his unsuspecting victim to an Oklahoma hotel based on a tip-off, he was arrested by the FBI.
After finding the victim, the FBI in Charlotte took to Twitter to announce Arcee's safe return and Gareda's arrest.