New Mexico Jury Finds California Man Guilty of Violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act
ALBUQUERQUE – A federal jury sitting in Las Cruces, N.M., returned a verdict earlier today finding Eric Leo Alexander, 36, of Anaheim, Calif., guilty of violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) after a two-day trial. The guilty verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and U.S. Marshal Conrad E. Candelaria.
SORNA, also known as the Adam Walsh Protection and Safety Act, requires that a convicted sex offender register in each jurisdiction where the offender resides, where the offender is employed, or where the offender is a student, and that the sex offender maintain current registrations.
“The Marshals Service for the District of New Mexico is dedicated to the safety of all communities within New Mexico, which is evident in this recent arrest of a dangerous and violent fugitive,” said U.S. Marshal Conrad E. Candelaria. “Regardless of the time, day or circumstance, when investigative leads are referred to Deputy United States Marshals, the information will be reviewed, validated, with the goal of apprehending dangerous fugitives. On many occasions, fugitive investigations, arrests, and prosecutions, are successful because of our partners from local, county, state and tribal police agencies, which together with the United States Attorney’s Office, we are making safer communities for our children, families and friends.”
Alexander was arrested in Anaheim, Calif., on Jan. 10, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with violating SORNA by failing to register as a sex offender after traveling in interstate commerce, and subsequently transferred to New Mexico to face the charges in this case. According to the indictment, which was filed on May 14, 2014, Alexander violated SORNA by failing to register as a sex offender in Doña Ana County, N.M., between Sept. 1, 2013 and Sept. 23, 2013.
Trial against Alexander began yesterday. The evidence established that the U.S. Marshals Service initiated an investigation into Alexander in late Sept. 2013, after California authorities requested their assistance in locating and apprehending Alexander. The California authorities reported that Alexander, a fugitive who had violated the conditions of his probation, was believed to be residing in Las Cruces.
Through investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service learned that Alexander’s criminal history included a 2012 conviction for sexually assaulting a minor for which he was sentenced to four years in a California state prison. After he was convicted, Alexander was twice informed of his requirements to register as a sex offender. Alexander also signed forms acknowledging that he was required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and update his registration annually. Although Alexander registered as a sex offender in California after he was released from prison in Aug. 2013, he then traveled to Las Cruces without informing the California authorities of his intention to leave.
The U.S. Marshals Service’s investigation revealed that as of Sept. 23, 2013, Alexander had been living at a Las Cruces residence with a woman and her two children for three weeks. It also revealed that Alexander had not registered with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department within three days of moving to New Mexico as required by SORNA.
The jury deliberated approximately 20 minutes before returning a verdict of guilty on the sole count of the indictment.
Alexander has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Alexander faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez praised the efforts of the U.S. Marshals Service in the investigation. He also thanked the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department, Tustin (Calif.) Police Department and Santa Ana (Calif.) Police Department for their assistance in the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S Attorneys Amanda Gould and Luis A. Martinez of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.