News and Press Releases

Former Abilene Man Sentenced to 12 Months in Federal Prison for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender

May 25, 2012

LUBBOCK, Texas — Richard Michael Nieves, 29, formerly of Abilene, Texas, was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 12 months in federal prison following his guilty plea in March 2012 to one count of failing to register as a sex offender, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Judge Cummings ordered that Nieves surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on June 22, 2012.

According to documents filed in the case, in 2009, when he was serving in the U.S. Army and stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, Nieves was convicted of possessing child pornography on his computer and was sentenced to a four-month term of confinement, reduction to Private (E1) and ordered to forfeit a total of $2,800.00 in pay. As a result of this conviction, he was required, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, to register as a sex offender and keep his status up-to-date. He was advised that if he moved, he must register with the local law enforcement agency in any state to which he moved within five days of the move.

In 2010, Nieves moved from Colorado to Texas, where he obtained employment in Abilene. In 2011, Nieves moved from Abilene to Southampton, New York. He failed to update his sex offender registration in Texas by failing to report his move to New York. He did not register as a sex offender in New York and did not notify any jurisdiction, where he was required to register as a sex offender, of his change of address.

This matter 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 Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

The investigation was conducted by the United States Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lubbock, Texas, was in charge of the prosecution.






















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