Casper Native Pleads Guilty To Sex Trafficking
A Casper native living in Colorado recently pleaded guilty to one count of interstate travel to meet with an underage girl, according to federal court records.
Leif Bjorn Jourgensen entered the plea before U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson in Cheyenne on Dec. 30, according to minutes of the hearing.
Travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct is punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment, between five years to lifetime probation, and a $5,000 assessment paid to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.
In exchange for Jourgensen’s plea, federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss a charge of attempted enticement at his sentencing scheduled for March 17.
Jourgensen, 31, is in custody.
The case started April 14 when a male Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agent was monitoring public online classifieds websites and found an advertisement from Jourgensen seeking a young girl for sex. The agent responded, posing as a girl. Jourgensen then responded saying he would pay her $400.
Jourgensen sent the agent a picture of himself, which corresponded to the photo on his Colorado driver’s license.
Further conversations ensued. Jourgensen called a number that was forwarded to a female Homeland Security Agent, who posed as a 14-year-olf girl.
They agreed to meet, but he later texted, saying he would meet her the next day.
They set up a time and a location at a store parking lot in Cheyenne.
Jourgensen drove his pickup to the store’s parking lot, and an agent parked behind his pickup to prevent him from backing up. Agents approached pickup and asked to see his hands.
He drove away, across a ditch between the parking lot and a nearby street.
DCI agents, later joined by the Cheyenne Police Department and the Wyoming Highway Patrol, pursued Jourgensen, who drove recklessly in the wrong lane of travel and past red lights and stop signs.
Jourgensen drove to the area of the Frontier Refinery, and agents lost sight of him. They later located his pickup at the refinery’s parking lot, but he was not there.
Surveillance video showed he entered the refinery, and got a ride from a contract employee. Agents contacted the employee who said he left Jourgensen at a restaurant on East Lincolnway.
By the time agents arrived at the restaurant, Jourgensen was gone.
Employees said Jourgensen sat at a table, used the restaurant manager’s cell phone to place a call, and later left. Agents traced the number to a business in northern Colorado.
Jourgensen was arrested soon after that.