Authorities arrested eight men in an undercover sex-trafficking operation during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally earlier this month, the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday.
This is the fourth year in a row that local, state and federal authorities have conducted the operation, which targeted people willing to pay for sex with underage males and females.
“Despite the intense publicity and focus on human trafficking these past few years, these undercover operations serve as a somber reminder that some people will throw caution to the wind and succumb to their perverted instincts,” U.S. Attorney Randy Seiler said in the release.
All suspects but two are from South Dakota. They are:
• Marshall Brown, 26, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.
• Duane Hosek, 61, Rapid City, S.D.
• Ryan Kammerer, 26, Box Elder, S.D.
• Brendan Leiter, 24, Elkhart, Ind.
• Noah Schottenstein, 27, Rapid City, S.D.
• Andries Snyman, 42, Isabel, S.D.
• Cody Two Lance, 33, Rapid City, S.D.
• Joel Zupnik, 51, Ft. Collins, Colo.
The men have been charged in federal court with attempted enticement of a minor using the internet. The offense carries a mandatory prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life.
Brown, Hosek and Two Lance each face an additional charge of attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Brown, Kammerer, Snyman and Two Lance are detained at the Pennington County Jail. The other suspects have been granted release by the court while their cases are ongoing.
The Sturgis undercover sex stings from 2013 to last year nabbed a total of 18 men, according to information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Dakota.
Fourteen of the defendants have either pleaded guilty or been convicted at trial of various federal charges, including commercial sex trafficking and attempted enticement of a minor using the internet.
The 11 who have already been sentenced received prison time ranging from two to 15 years.
One case was dismissed because the defendant died, and the rest are still going through court proceedings.