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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 18, 2020

West Texas Child Predator Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison

A west Texas child predator was sentenced yesterday to life in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.

Michael Don Billups, 56, pleaded guilty in January to interstate transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. He was sentenced yesterday afternoon before U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix.

“Mr. Billups committed heinous acts of sexual abuse against the most vulnerable in our society,” said U.S Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “While no prison term can undo the pain and suffering Mr. Billups has caused, today’s life sentence sends a strong message that child sexual exploitation will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The FBI is dedicated to protecting the communities we serve from child predators,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “We will continue working with our partners to pursue individuals who commit horrific acts of child exploitation.”

According to court documents, Billups befriended a family while living in New Mexico.  Over a period of time, Billups earned the family’s trust and, on occasion, the family’s minor children were allowed to stay at Billups’ residence overnight.

During the summer of 2019, Billups requested to take two of the children on vacation to Florida and Alabama.  While at Billups son’s residence in Alabama, Billups sexually assaulted one of the minors.

In October 2019, the family moved from New Mexico to Lubbock, Texas.  Shortly thereafter, one of the minor children outcried to his mother stating that Billups had been sexually assaulting him for several years at locations in New Mexico, Texas, and in Alabama.

According to court documents, the parents questioned a second sibling who informed them that he had observed activities between Billups and his sibling that confirmed the outcry.

To avoid detection, Billups told the minors not to tell anyone because it would make him feel sad.  He also purchased toys and games for boys.

The FBI’s Dallas Field Office and the Lubbock Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Long prosecuted this case.

Contact: 
Todd Martin Public Affairs 214-659-8691 todd.martin3@usdoj.gov
Updated December 18, 2020