MINNEAPOLIS – Acting United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Nebraska man convicted of Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet was sentenced on August 18, 2015, by Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Court.
Phillip Holden, age 24, was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release, was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund, and is to forfeit a Motorola cell phone and $108 in U.S. currency.
Holden was one of five men who were arrested and federally indicted as a result of an undercover sex trafficking operation conducted during the 2014 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, targeting persons willing to pay to have sex with underage girls. All five men were indicted for Commercial Sex Trafficking.
The conviction stemmed from Holden responding to a Craigslist.com advertisement posted by Division of Criminal Investigation undercover agents, which purported to offer young girls for sex. Following several messages with a person Holden believed to be associated with a 12-year old girl, but who was in fact an undercover agent, he proceeded to negotiate the time and place they would meet, along with the price he would pay, which was $100.
The undercover operation and arrests were a joint effort between the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Rapid City Police Department, and the Pennington County Sheriff’s office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Collins prosecuted the case.
Holden was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.