Sex Trafficking Sting Nets Nine Arrests
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 13, 2013|
United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that nine men have been arrested and federally indicted as a result of a sex trafficking undercover operation conducted during the 2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which ended August 11. All nine men were indicted for commercial sex trafficking.
The arrests were a result of investigations by the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. All the defendants allegedly negotiated with law enforcement agents posing as pimps and agreed to pay for sex with underage girls ranging from 12-15 years of age.
Five of the defendants are from South Dakota, and four are from out-of-state.
- Jerry Lane Golliher, age 31, of Rapid City, South Dakota
- Eric D. Murphy, age 27, of Rapid City, South Dakota
- John Miller, age 24, of Rapid City, South Dakota
- Michael Francis Fox Jr., age 43, of Owings Mills, Maryland
- Scott B. Falk, age 29, of Kenai, Alaska
- Timothy Charles Gravens, age 54, of Grapevine, Texas
- Miguel Angel Aguilar, age 19, of Brighton, Colorado
- James Eugene Larive Jr., age 42, of Belle Fourche, South Dakota
- Curtis Ray Austin, age 20, of Rapid City, South Dakota
Falk, Fox, Gravens, and Aguilar are in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and are scheduled to make an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge in Rapid City on August 14, 2013. The remaining defendants will be taken into federal custody and will be making an initial appearance at a future date.
The crime of commercial sex trafficking carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10-15 years in prison up to a life maximum, and/or a $250,000 fine. The mandatory minimum prison sentence is determined by the age of the victim.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The undercover operation and arrests were a joint effort between the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Rapid City Police Department, and the Pennington County Sheriff’s office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Collins is prosecuting the cases.