LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Reno woman faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty today to transporting a 16-year-old Nevada girl to work as a prostitute.
Ashley Michael Stella, 28, entered the guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Billings, Montana, on Tuesday.
Stella was indicted on a charge of transporting a minor to engage in prostitution. Sentencing is scheduled for April 14, 2022.
The teen-ager, identified in court documents as Jane Doe 1, was with Stella when authorities responded to a report of possible commercial sex activity at a Billings motel on April 21. She told authorities she met Stella in December 2020.
Stella told the girl that she worked in commercial sex. Jane Doe 1 and Stella traveled to Montana in April and both engaged in acts of prostitution, according to court documents. Stella also told investigators that the two had traveled from Nevada to Montana for the purpose of commercial sex and that she had asked Jane Doe 1 if she wanted to go on the trip.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zeno B. Baucus and Bryan T. Dake are prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Montana Department of Justice’s Criminal Investigation Division, FBI and Billings Police Department.