BEAUMONT, Texas — An East Texas man pleaded guilty Friday to federal child exploitation violations, which included repeated interest in raping, killing and cannibalizing a 13-year-old girl as part of an undercover sting operation.
This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Joseph Brown, Eastern District of Texas. This case was investigated by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Lufkin, Beaumont and Houston, Texas; HSI’s Child Exploitation Task Force in Cocoa Beach, Florida; Brevard County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office; Nacogdoches (Texas) Police Department; Texas Department of Public Safety; U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Air and Marine Operations; and Shelby County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office.
Alexander Nathan Barter, 23, from Joaquin, Texas, entered a guilty plea Dec.20 before U.S, Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin.
According to court documents, as part of Barter’s plea agreement, 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 Oct. 9 and Oct. 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 Oct. 19, 2018, Barter arrived at the designated meet site in Joaquin, Texas, with a knife, trash bag, cellphone, 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.”
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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller, Eastern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 19,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2018, more than 3,000 (3,191) child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 850 (859) victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.