A 23-year-old Joaquin, Texas, man has pleaded guilty to child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown.
Alexander Nathan Barter pleaded guilty to attempted coercion and enticement of a minor and distribution of child pornography before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin on December 20, 2019.
According to information admitted by Barter as part of his plea, 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.
“These are the cases that remind us that evil is real,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown. “It also reminds us that we are fortunate that we have law enforcement working to stop these things.”
As part of his plea, Barter also admitted to using a social media communications application, the internet, and digital devices he owned to communicate with other individuals about child pornography. On October 14, 2017, Barter offered to send videos depicting the sexual exploitation of a prepubescent female to another individual. The individual accepted the offer and Barter sent the files, along with descriptions of their contents.
Barter entered into a plea agreement with the government that includes a sentence of 240 months imprisonment on each count. Each party has reserved the right to argue that the sentences should run concurrent or consecutive. Accordingly, Barter will face a minimum term of 20 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years when he is sentenced. A sentencing date has not yet been set and the actual sentence will be determined by a federal judge at sentencing.
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<http://www.justice.gov/psc?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery>.
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.