Sturgis Sting Operation Nets Five Arrests for Sex Trafficking
United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that the following five men have been arrested and federally indicted as a result of a sex trafficking undercover operation conducted during the 2014 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which ended August 9, 2014. All five men were indicted for Commercial Sex Trafficking and all are from out-of-state.
- Robert Clyde, age 65, of Fayetteville, North Carolina.
- Walter Curaba, age 44, of Glendora, California.
- Timithy Fielding, age 50, of Centerville, Pennsylvania.
- Phillip Holden, age 23, of Broken Bow, Nebraska.
- Alexandros Thymaras, age 32, of Calgary, Canada.
The arrests were a result of investigations by the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. All of 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.
All five of the federal defendants are in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and made an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Rapid City on August 12, 2014.
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 Meade County State’s Attorney’s office, Meade County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Rapid City Police Department, and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Collins is prosecuting the cases.