This year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was known for something this year besides spreading more COVID cases across the country. In a joint operation between state and federal investigators, eight men were arrested for allegedly looking to have sex with minors. You may notice some familiar platforms that were used to try to arrange these meetings with minors.
20-year-old Robert Lee Goodwill Jr. of Rapid City, SD allegedly used a chatroom to try to arrange to have sex with a 15-year-old girl. I couldn’t find what chatroom he used but when I think of predators and chatrooms I always think of Kik, but I digress.
29-year-old Cody Wayne Hopkins of Montgomery, Pennsylvania allegedly tried to arrange a sexual meeting with a 13-year-old girl over social network Skout.
32-year-old Michael Ray Hudson of Rapid City, SD was arrested for allegedly promising a 15-year-old alcohol for sex on the dating site Adam4Adam.
28-year-old Travis John McDonald also of Rapid City allegedly tried to meet a 13-year-old for sex on MeetMe. MeetMe and Skout are both owned by the same parent company and both platforms are essentially hook-up sites.
60-year-old William Nicholas Riley is accused of allegedly using craigslist to solicit a 15-year-old girl for sex thus showing that predators and traffickers are still using craigslist.
22-year-old Kevin William Clements of Claysville, PA was arrested for allegedly trying to arrange to have sex with a 13-year-old over the dating platform Badoo. From what I can tell, Badoo is along the same lines as Skout and MeetMe.
25-year-old Darren Wilber Harrison of Rapid City is accused of allegedly using craigslist to solicit a 15-year-old girl for sex.
33-year-old Christopher Covey Dale Truax also of Rapid City is accused of allegedly arranging to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex through the dating app Tinder. At the time of his arrest, Truax was said to have the backseat of his car converted into a bed and his car contained a loaded handgun, multiple knives, and a penis pump.
Thankfully, all the minors mentioned in this post were actually state and federal investigators. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there weren’t any kids that were trafficked at Sturgis. If investigators only announced eight arrests, I’m sure there were scores more traffickers and predators who weren’t caught.
This story also shows where child trafficking is actually happening. It’s happening on social media, classifieds sites like craigslist, dating sites, and large social gatherings. It’s not limited to bike rallies but it also happens at large sporting events and music festivals.
Where child trafficking doesn’t happen is where ever your conspiracy-minded friends and relatives on Facebook are saying it happens.