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November 5, 2021Rapid City, SD, United StatesChild Exploitation

ICE HSI predator sting at Sturgis rally leads to conviction of South Dakota man for attempted enticement of a minor

RAPID CITY, S.D. – A western South Dakota man was found guilty in federal court Wednesday for using the internet in an attempt to entice a minor for sexual purposes.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Rapid City Police Department and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

Christopher Truax, 34, of Rapid City, was found guilty by a federal jury, in a trial that culminated Nov. 3, of attempted enticement of a minor using the internet.

Evidence at trial established that Truax was arrested and federally indicted because of an undercover sex trafficking operation conducted during the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, targeting internet predators. Following multiple chats and text messages with a person Truax believed to be a 13-year-old girl, but who was in fact an undercover agent, he proceeded to negotiate a time and place he would meet the minor to engage in unlawful sex acts. When Truax went to the pre-determined location to meet the minor, he was instead met by law enforcement agents and placed under arrest.

The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, up to life in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, a mandatory minimum of five years up to lifetime supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins prosecuted the case.

A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date has not been set. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move.

Find us on Twitter @HSISaintPaul.

Updated: 11/17/2021