A Florida man was convicted of Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet stemming from the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally child predator operation.
The sentencing took place on July 7, 2023.
James Dean Hanapel, 22, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
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Hanapel will also be required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
A federal grand jury indicted Hanapel in August of 2021, and was found guilty by a jury on April 13, 2023.
According to evidence presented at the trial, Hanapel was arrested in an undercover sex trafficking operation conducted during the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, targeting internet predators.
Following multiple chats and sexually explicit text messages with a person Hanapel believed to be a 14-year-old girl but who was actually an undercover agent, Hanapel proceeded to negotiate a time and place he would meet the minor to engage in unlawful sex acts.
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When Hanapel went to the pre-determined location to meet the minor, he was instead met by law enforcement agents and placed under arrest.
This case was investigated by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, Homeland Security Investigations, Rapid City Police Department, and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins prosecuted the case.
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