Colorado Man Found Guilty of Attempting to Entice a Minor Using the Internet
United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that Joel Zupnik, 53, of Fort Collins, Colorado, was convicted of Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet following a three-day federal jury trial held in U.S. District Court in Rapid City. The guilty verdict was returned on December 12, 2018.
Zupnik was one of ten men who were arrested and federally indicted as a result of an undercover sex trafficking operation conducted during the 2016 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, targeting internet predators. Following multiple chats and text messages with a person Zupnik believed to be a 15 year-old girl, but who was in fact an undercover agent, he proceeded to negotiate the time and place he would meet the minor to engage in unlawful sex acts. When Zupnik went to the pre-determined location to meet the minor, he was instead met by law enforcement agents and placed under arrest.
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.