United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Maryland man convicted of Attempted Trafficking with Respect to Involuntary Servitude and Forced Labor was sentenced on April 22, 2014, by Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Court.
Michael Francis Fox Jr., 44, was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Fox will also be required to register as a sex offender, and he is ordered to forfeit his 2007 Suzuki motor vehicle.
Fox was one of nine men who were arrested and federally indicted as a result of a sex trafficking undercover operation conducted during the 2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, targeting persons willing to pay to have sex with underage girls obtained through the Internet. All nine men were indicted for Commercial Sex Trafficking.
On August 4, 2013, as part of the undercover operation, Fox was arrested for attempting to obtain sex with a 12-year old girl. He responded to a law enforcement-generated Internet advertisement which purported to offer young girls for sex, and he proceeded to negotiate the terms of the sexual encounter. Fox then met with an undercover agent posing as someone who could provide the young girl, and he had the negotiated amount of money and condoms in his possession. Fox was subsequently arrested.
Of the nine original defendants, five have pled guilty. Of those five, three have been sentenced, and the other two await sentencing. One defendant was found guilty by a federal jury, and the 3 remaining defendants are scheduled for trial.
The investigation was conducted by the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Rapid City Police Department, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Meade County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins prosecuted the case.
Fox was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.