Bayard, NM

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Bayard is a city in Grant County, New Mexico. It is located in the southwestern portion of the state, east of Silver City and northwest of Deming, and it has a population of about 2,400 residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have occurred and have been documented in the city and surrounding areas of Grant County. Among the more serious activities associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking. For example, in 2016, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office announced that Internet Crimes Against Children task forces around the country, including New Mexico Office of the Attorney General ICAC Task Force, had launched a two-month operation called Operation Broken Heart III. According to reports, it was a coordinated effort by law enforcement representing more than 3,000 federal, state and local agencies with the purpose of identifying and apprehending child predators. As a result of the investigation, two Grant County men were arrested on charges related to distributing and possessing child sex abuse material (CSAM, often called “child pornography” in criminal codes). Additionally, the operation focused on providing cyber safety education and outreach to children, parents, and educators throughout the state.

In effort to reduce demand for commercial sex in the area, sex buyers have been arrested as a result of alternative investigations from tips reported to local law enforcement agencies. For example, in September 2018, a Bayard man was arrested and charged with more than 50 felony counts involving human trafficking, sexual exploitation of children, sexual exploitation of children by prostitution, and child solicitation by electronic communication device, following an investigation by the Attorney’s General’s Office, Internet Crimes Against Children, and the New Mexico State Police. According to reports, the investigation began in December 2017, when Dropbox Inc., an internet downloading and sharing system, submitted a CyberTip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding child sex abuse (child pornography) material being downloaded into an account associated with an email address being used by the suspect and an IP address that returned to an address in Bayard, the same location in which the offender’s vehicle was registered. Dropbox indicated in their CyberTip that all files showed sexual abuse and child pornography of juvenile males.

According to the arrest affidavit, filed in Grant County Magistrate Court, the offender was arrest on a total of 54 charges: “22 counts of attempting to commit a felony, to wit: human trafficking (victim under 13), all second-degree felonies; four counts of manufacturing visual medium of sexual exploitation of children, also second-degree felonies; five counts of sexual exploitation of children by prostitution (hires), also second-degree felonies; 17 counts of attempting to commit a felony, to wit: child solicitation by electronic communication device, all fourth-degree felonies; one count of possession of visual medium of sexual exploitation (child 13-18), a fourth-degree felony; and four misdemeanor charges of attempting to commit a felony: child solicitation by electronic communication device (child 13 to 16).”

The Chief Deputy District Attorney stated that, “in addition to possessing highly disturbing depictions of child pornography, the defendant actively solicited sex with minor children and is a danger to the safety of the community and should be detained pending trial.” However, the offender was later released until his trial under the following court-ordered conditions, “[The offender] is not allowed to use the internet, and is under the Grant County Surveillance Program and under house arrest, except for trips to Las Cruces to meet with his attorney. He was released to the care of his father and grandmother, who agreed that they will assure the court that [the offender] abides by all his conditions of release or they will inform the court.” The offender’s identity and image were included in reports by local media outlets.

State New Mexico
Type City
Population 2415
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