BEAUMONT, Texas – A 23-year-old Joaquin, Texas man has been sentenced for child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox today.
Alexander Nathan Barter pleaded guilty on Dec. 20, 2019, to attempted coercion and enticement of a minor and distribution of child pornography and was sentenced to 480 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Michael Truncale. Following the completion of his prison sentence, Barter was also ordered to submit to a lifetime of supervised release.
As part of his plea agreement with the government, Barter agreed to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count, with each party reserving the right to request that the terms be sentenced concurrently or consecutively. Barter’s counsel requested that the Court impose a total term of imprisonment of 20 years; the government requested a sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment.
According to information introduced as part of Barter’s plea and at sentencing, in October 2018, Barter posted an ad on a dark web site stating, “I’d like to try necrophilia and cannibalism, and see how it feels to take a life. If you’d be willing to let me kill you, are in the US (preferably in the south) and can travel by car, contact me.” An undercover officer saw the ad and responded, utilizing the persona of a father with a 13-year old daughter. Between October 9, 2018 and October 19, 2018, Barter and the undercover officer exchanged a series of messages that included Barter’s repeated interest in raping, killing, and eating the 13-year old child. Barter provided the undercover with instructions on traveling from Florida to Shelby County, Texas, what to tell the child to get her acquiescence to travel, and how to conceal evidence of their crime. On October 19, 2018, Barter arrived at the designated meet site in Joaquin, Texas with a knife, trash bag, cellular phone, and a tablet.
“As this chilling case demonstrates, online talk is not always just talk. The constant vigilance of our law enforcement partners has prevented an evildoer from finding a likeminded accomplice and bringing his grisly plan to fruition,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox. “This case is a sobering reminder of how the brave men and women of law enforcement face down the worst of the worst in the scariest of scenarios.”
“In my 23-year-career in law enforcement, this is among the most morally depraved and appalling criminal conspiracies that I have come across,” said Mark Dawson, special agent in charge of HSI Houston. “Without the quick and decisive actions of special agents from HSI Cocoa Beach and HSI Beaumont this disturbed predator would still be out there looking for potential victims to carry out his sick and demented fantasies.”
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in Lufkin, Beaumont, and Houston, Texas; Homeland Security Investigations Cocoa Beach, Florida, Child Exploitation Task Force; Brevard County Sheriff’s Office (Florida); Nacogdoches Police Department; Texas Department of Public Safety; Customs and Border Protection Air Units; and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller and U.S. Department of Justice Senior Trial Attorney Jennifer Toritto Leonardo.