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Press Release

New Mexico Man to Spend More Than 12 Years in Prison For Illicit Conduct with a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

EL PASO, Texas – A New Mexico man was sentenced in a federal court in El Paso to 150 months in prison for transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

According to court documents, registered sex offender Alexandre Theodore Banta, 37, of Roswell, New Mexico, traveled with a juvenile from Roswell to El Paso, Texas in April 2020, engaging in sexual acts in the vehicle along the way. Banta and the juvenile spent between one and a half to two weeks in an El Paso motel, where Banta further engaged in sexual acts with the minor and arranged for the minor to have sex with other individuals in exchange for payment.

The El Paso Police Department was alerted by someone at the motel who said they had seen a young girl entering and exiting various motel rooms and overheard a tenant of one of the rooms describe a sexual encounter with her. Banta was arrested on June 12, 2020 for Sexual Assault of a Minor. He was served a federal arrest warrant on Aug. 18, 2020, and extradited to El Paso.

“This predator committed heinous sexual acts of his own with a minor, while also forcing her into prostitution out of a motel room and lining his pockets,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “I appreciate the vigilance of those who alerted the El Paso Police Department, and our partner agencies who conducted the ensuing investigation. This case serves as an important reminder that sexual exploitation can and does occur in our communities, and we can all play a role in prevention.”

“Child exploitation is one of the most heinous crimes in modern society, and this case exemplifies one of the worst. The sentence fits the crime,” said Special Agent in Charge Francisco B. Burrola for the HSI El Paso Division. “Our robust partnerships with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies continues to allow HSI special agents to ensure those responsible for victimizing children are removed from our communities and placed behind bars for a long time.”

HSI and EPPD investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Valenzuela prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit


Updated December 4, 2023

Project Safe Childhood