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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Previously convicted sex offender pleads guilty to federal child pornography and international kidnapping charges

           ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Clarence Michael Ransom, 52, of Las Cruces, New Mexico pleaded guilty in federal court in Las Cruces on June 23 to one count of attempted production of child pornography, two counts of international parental kidnapping and one count of failure to report international travel as a sex offender.

           In Ransom’s plea agreement, he admitted having at least ten sexually explicit conversations over an online social networking and dating platform in May 2019.  Ransom believed he was chatting with a 14-year-old girl.  The other party to the conversations was actually an undercover law enforcement officer.  Ransom used extremely sexual and coercive language to try to obtain sexually explicit photographs of the person he though was a child.  Ransom engaged in these conversations in Doña Ana County, New Mexico.   

           Ransom also admitted kidnapping his two children from their mother, who he shared custody with, and fleeing with them to Mexico on Oct. 8, 2019.  Mexican law enforcement later arrested Ransom and transported him back to the United States for prosecution. 

           Ransom is required to register as sex offender based on a conviction in 1991 for engaging in an unlawful sexual act with a child under 12.  Ransom violated federal requirements to update his sex offender registration and to notify the proper authorities when he left the United States.

           Ransom is currently in custody awaiting sentencing.  He faces from 25 to 50 years in prison. 

           The FBI and United States Marshal Service investigated this case with the assistance of the Las Cruces Police Department. Assistant U.S Attorney Matilda M. Villalobos and Mark A. Saltman are prosecuting the case.

Updated June 25, 2020