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Press Release

Box Elder Man Found Guilty of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

RAPID CITY - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a jury has convicted Vincent Alberto Barrios, age 42, of Box Elder, South Dakota, of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet, Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet, Receipt of Child Pornography, and Attempted Receipt of Child Pornography following a three-day jury trial in federal district court in Rapid City, South Dakota. The verdict was returned on December 21, 2023.

The Sexual Exploitation charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years up to 30 years in custody; the Enticement charges carry a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in prison; and the Receipt of Child Pornography charges carry a mandatory minimum of five years up to 20 years in custody. Each conviction carries the possible maximum of a $250,000 fine, a term of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. 

Barrios was indicted by a federal grand jury in August of 2023. 

Evidence at trial established that Barrios was arrested as a result of an undercover sex trafficking operation conducted during the 2023 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, targeting internet predators.  Following multiple chats and sexually explicit text messages with a person Barrios believed to be a 13-year-old girl, but who was in fact an undercover agent, Barrios proceeded to negotiate a time and place he would meet the minor to engage in unlawful sex acts. When Barrios went to the pre-determined location to meet the minor, he was instead met by law enforcement agents and placed under arrest. During this time Barrios was also chatting with two other undercover agents Barrios believed to be 14-year-old girls. After a review of Barrios’ phone, law enforcement located a text message conversation with a local 14-year-old female and child pornography.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

This case was investigated by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, HSI, and the the Rapid City Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins prosecuted the case.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date has not been set. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.


Updated December 26, 2023

Project Safe Childhood