#minorsextrafficking | Rapid City man found guilty in Sex Trafficking Operation during 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally


NOVEMBER 2022:

A federal jury in Rapid City has convicted (Nov. 3, 2022) Stephen Fontenot, Jr., age 40, of Black Hawk of Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet, and Attempted Receipt of Child Pornography.

Evidence at trial established that Fontenot was arrested as a result of an undercover sex trafficking operation conducted during the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, targeting internet predators. Following multiple sexually explicit chats and text messages with a person Fontenot believed to be a 12-year-old girl, but who was in fact an undercover agent, Fontenot proceeded to negotiate a time and place he would meet the minor to engage in unlawful sex acts. When Fontenot went to the pre-determined location to meet the minor, he was instead met by law enforcement agents and placed under arrest.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of 15 years up to life in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, five years up to lifetime of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

This case was investigated by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, Homeland Security Investigations, the Rapid City Police Department, and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date will be set. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

 

AUGUST 2021:

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations conducted a joint sex trafficking operation during the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The operation began on August 6, 2021, and continued through August 12, 2021.

As a result, the following nine men were arrested and charged with a variety of offenses:

  1. Alec Walker Daniel, 22, Rapid City, South Dakota: Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet
  2. Alexander Wayne Basaldu, 35, Rapid City, South Dakota: Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet
  3. Jesse James Young, 36, Rapid City, South Dakota: Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet
  4. Joshua Robert Lehmann, 34, Rapid City, South Dakota: Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet
  5. Christopher Thomas Dahl, 28, Wolcott, NY: Attempted Commercial Sex Trafficking of a Minor
  6. Stephen Gregory Fontenot, 39, Black Hawk, South Dakota: Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet
  7. Anthony James Kemp, 54, Spearfish, South Dakota: Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet
  8. James Dean Hanapel, 20, Ellsworth AFB: Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet
  9. Clayton John Paulson, 36, Spearfish, South Dakota: Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet

The mandatory minimum penalty if convicted of Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet is 10 years up to life in federal prison; any term of years, not less than five, up to lifetime supervised release; $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund; and a $5,000 assessment if not indigent. Restitution may also be ordered.

The mandatory minimum penalty if convicted of Attempted Commercial Sex Trafficking of a Minor is 15 years up to life in federal prison; a $250,000 fine; any term of years, not less than five, up to lifetime supervised release; $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund; and a $5,000 assessment if not indigent. Restitution may also be ordered.

The agencies involved in the operation were DCI, ICAC, HSI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ellsworth AFB Office of Special Investigations, Rapid City Police Department, and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

The cases are being federally prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office would like to extend its appreciation to all law enforcement partners involved in the investigations for their efforts and continued cooperation.



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