BEAUMONT, TX – According to a press release by the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, undercover ICE special agents stationed in Beaumont, Texas, intercepted Alexander Nathan Barter and were able to arrest him before he could carry out his heinous plot.
The 23-year-old Northeast Texas man who previously solicited the murder, necrophilia, and cannibalism of a minor on the dark web was sentenced to 40 years in a federal prison for child exploitation violations on Thursday in the Eastern District of Texas.
This case has been investigated by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Beaumont, HSI Cocoa Beach, Florida Child Exploitation Task Force, Brevard County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office, Nacogdoches (Texas) Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Customs and Border Protection Air Units, and the Shelby County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office.
Barter, a former resident of Joaquin, Texas, was sentenced to 40 years in a federal prison and ordered to submit to a lifetime of supervised release for the attempted coercion and enticement of a minor and distribution of child pornography on Sept. 17 by U.S. District Judge Michael Truncale. Barter ultimately plead guilty to the charges on Dec. 20, 2019.
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 of 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 U.S. (preferably in the south) and can travel by car, contact me.”
An undercover HSI special agent discovered the ad and immediately responded to Barter's request using a false persona of a father with a 13-year-old daughter.
Between Oct. 9 and Oct. 19, 2018, Barter and the undercover special agent exchanged a series of messages that included Barter’s repeated interest in killing, raping and eating the agent's 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 to agree 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, cellular phone and a tablet.
“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 our special agents from Cocoa Beach and Beaumont, this disturbed predator would still be out there looking for potential victims to carry out his sick and demented fantasies.”
“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.”
This case is currently being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller and U.S. Department of Justice Senior Trial Attorney Jennifer Toritto Leonardo.