A cozy prison jumpsuit awaits an Anahuac man who wanted to have his Ukrainian mail-order bride shipped in a crate from Kiev to his Texas home, where he planned to kill her.
A federal judge in Beaumont sentenced David Sartin, 49, to 10 years in prison Monday after he pleaded guilty to the bizarre plot in August, according to the Houston Chronicle 's Cindy Horswell. Prosecutors say that Sartin, 49, offered $50,000 to an undercover ATF agent in March to ship him his Ukrainian girlfriend after he discovered she had been cheating on him. Sartin told the agent he planned to have his way with her for a week, before using lead to poison her.
Sartin became acquainted with the woman, Elena Barykina, on a website called Dream Marriage, which bills itself as a "safe virtual environment [for Western men] to interact with pretty Russian Brides and beautiful Ukrainian Women genuinely interested in finding romance, love and happiness with the man of their dreams."
What could go wrong?
According to a story Horswell penned in August, Sartin visited Barykina in Kiev six times, showered her with $15,000 in jewelry, and treated her to trips across Europe. Barykina was also an aspiring singer , and Sartin helped her pursue that goal by paying for classes. But then he discovered she both had another boyfriend in Ukraine and was using the Internet to meet other western men as well.
Sartin helpfully outlined his complaint with Barykina on a website called Internet Scams Watch in May 2011:
I have given to Elena Barykina $57,752.00 USD to date and I am still adding up the receipts for all the travels we have taken together. NO, I have never had sex with this women as this is something that to me is sacred and saved for marriage. This was great for her as she was getting all for nothing. . . .
She has cried out many times of her rent to be paid and food to eat. Books to buy, etc. All during this time proclaiming her love and marriage to me soon and at the same time sleeping with another. I have the pictures of them two together but have not pictures of other men. This all goes in much deeper detail and I fear to write all at first as it may take many letters.
She has in her possession $15,000.00 worth of gold and diamond jewelry that I do want back and it would be nice to get as much of my money back as possible. I had no idea I was being scammed as I believed in this girl with all of my heart and she knew this. This is a very cruel thing to do to a person. My first thought upon arriving back home was to put an end to myself, but I was feared of [sic] not hitting the right spot and the pain would be bad. You get the idea!!! I do not believe she understands just how serious this is and what could happen to a man that experiences this kind of pain.
But then Sartin apparently decided to take things a step (or few) beyond an Internet complaint, and arranged a meeting with a man—who turned out to be an undercover ATF agent—who said he could abduct Barykina and ship her to him. And what did he plan to do to her once she was in Texas? According to Horswell, "The plan was to bring her to Texas in a crate where Sartin would 'take care of her' through lead poisoning after getting 'at least a week out of her' for himself, according to court records. He had also bought supplies that he used to build a fortified room in his trailer."
But that would never come to pass. The agent taped their conversations, and the pair met in March when Sartin gave him a $25,000 deposit. He was arrested 17 days later when he arrived in the parking lot of a Beaumont hardware store with the remaining $25,000 to pick up the package he thought contained his bride.
His father, Cecil, had warned his son to be careful about the relationship, but to no avail: "My son was lonely, and she was prettier and could talk sweeter than me," Cecil Sartin told Horswell. "This is an industry, a business to the girls who post their pictures there."