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Press Release

Five Men Charged In Federal Court With Attempted Commercial Sex Trafficking

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

Acting United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that five men have been charged with Attempted Commercial Sex Trafficking after responding to on-line advertisements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, along with the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, conducted an on-line undercover operation to identify persons who attempt to purchase sex acts with children. 

Jose Joaquin Oxlaj, age 26, of Guatamala, was indicted on May 5, 2015.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on May 11, 2015, and pled not guilty to the Indictment. 

Nathanuel Walter Downs, age 27, of Sioux City, Iowa; Benjamin Lyle Iverson, age 25, of Sioux Falls; Lance Eugene Hunter, Jr., age 29, of Little Rock, Iowa; and Scott Robert Larson, age 29, of Sioux Falls, were indicted on June 2, 2015, and made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on June 3 and 4, 2015. Each of the men pled not guilty to the Indictment. 

There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, with a maximum sentence of life, a $250,000 fine, supervised release of not less than 5 years and up to life, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The charges are merely accusations and each man is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Clapper is prosecuting the cases.   

Oxlaj was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. Iverson was returned to the custody of Minnehaha County where he is facing state charges for assaulting a law enforcement officer.  Downs, Larson and Hunter were released on bond.   Trial dates have not been set.


Updated December 18, 2015

Human Trafficking