LAREDO, Texas — A former sergeant with the Texas National Guard was sentenced Wednesday to more than 12 years in federal prison following his conviction on attempting to entice a minor.
This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Curtis Billups, 35, of San Antonio, was sentenced Oct. 28 by U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo to 151 months in federal prison. This sentence will be immediately followed by 10 years of supervised release, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet. He must also register as a sex offender. In handing down the sentence, Judge Marmolejo commented on the danger Billups poses because he acts on his thoughts.
According to court documents, Billups was working in South Texas as part of the enhanced border initiative. In March, Billups made contact via the Internet with a person he believed to be a father offering his 12- and 14-year-old daughters for sex. In reality, the individual was actually an undercover HSI special agent. Following a week of correspondence, Billups traveled from Weslaco to Laredo to meet with the undercover special agent believing he would be taken to the girls to have sex with them. Instead, he was arrested and taken into custody.
During trial, the government presented the emails and text messages involving Billups, many of which were sexually explicit in nature. The evidence showed he traveled to Laredo to have sex with the two fictitious children.
Billups attempted to convince the jury that he believed the communications were part of a role-playing game and that no children were actually involved. The jury was not convinced and convicted him as charged.
Billups will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Assistant U.S. Attorney’s, Alfredo De La Rosa and Jorge Vela, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.