Iowa Man Sentenced for Attempted Sex Trafficking
United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Lester, Iowa, man convicted of Attempted Trafficking in Involuntary Servitude and Forced Labor was sentenced on February 9, 2017, by Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Court.
Aaron Vandekamp, age 23, was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
Vandekamp was one of four men who were arrested and federally indicted as a result of an undercover sex trafficking operation conducted during the 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, targeting persons willing to pay to have sex with underage girls obtained through the Internet. The conviction stemmed from Vandekamp responding to an online advertisement posted by Division of Criminal Investigation undercover agents, which purported to offer young girls for sex. Following several messages with a person Vandekamp believed to be associated with a 15 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 $150.
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.
Vandekamp was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshal's Service.