Alexander Nathan Barter was arrested on Oct. 19 after an online exchange with an undercover agent from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) posing as the father of an underage girl.
Barter posted an ad seeking someone who could provide an underage girl with whom Barter realize his fantasies of rape, murder, necrophilia, and cannibalism.
According to the Center Light and Champion, the Child Exploitation Task Force of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Unit located in Cocoa Beach, Florida, noticed the ad and started an investigation. HSI coordinated with the Texas Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force to pursue the investigation.
The Texas DPS agent responded to Barter’s ad on the dark web, claiming to be a father of an unruly daughter, living in Brevard Country, Florida. The agent told Barter his daughter had run away from home several times.
When the agent responded to Barter’s dark web ad, Barter replied, “Nice! I’m in East Texas. How old is your daughter? Can we kill her?” KTRE reported.
A Detailed Plan
In a series of emails stretching over several days, Barter arranged a deal whereby the father would drop off his daughter at a hotel in Joaquin, Texas, so that Barter could commit the gruesome crimes he had been describing.
Barter suggested the father tell his daughter they were going on a hiking trip.
Barter instructed the agent to buy a “burner” cellphone and a change of clothes to wear after the murder. Barter told the supposed father that after the murder, he should drive back to his supposed home and report his daughter as a runaway again.
On Oct. 15 Barter told the agent, “I’m not going to change my mind about this. I really want to do this.”
The pair made plans to meet on Oct. 19. Barter said he would bring a plastic trash bag and a knife.
Tracked Down and Apprehended
Meanwhile, DPS officers subpoenaed information from the Internet Provider of the user making plans with the undercover officer. DPS was able to identify through usage logs and login information.
When Barter left his home on Oct. 19, intending to meet the father and daughter, he instead met a horde of law enforcement officials.
According to an affidavit filed by DPS, after barter was read his Miranda rights he admitted to being the person who had posted the ad and made the plans to commit the gruesome crimes.
Barter has been charged with four felonies:
- Criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony
- Criminal attempt: capital murder, a second-degree felony
- Conspiracy to commit capital murder, a first-degree felony
- Criminal attempt: sexual performance of a child, a second-degree felony.
Barter is currently housed in Shelby County Jail. According to Shelby County Today, District Attorney Stephen Shires said Barter will not be allowed to bond out.
In a statement, Shires said, “The dark web, and the individuals that operate there, pose an increasing threat to the safety of our children.
“Technology has eliminated the barrier of distance for these sorts of activities. In this case, Law Enforcement mounted an integrated (both state/federal and multi-state-Texas/Florida) effort to deal with this particular individual.
“Hopefully, this will serve as a continued reminder that parents should always be vigilant and aware of what their children are doing on the internet. I hope it also gives folks some comfort to know that there are also good guys at work-highly trained, highly capable individuals protecting us.
“And rest assured, anyone utilizing the dark web will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law by my office.”