Florida man convicted of sex crime following sting operation at Sturgis Bike Rally

April 19, 2023

RAPID CITY – A Florida man faces a minimum 10 years in federal prison after being convicted recently of using the internet in an attempt to entice a minor for unlawful sex acts.

Twenty two year-old James Hanapel of Jacksonville, Florida was convicted following a three day jury trial in Rapid City.

Evidence at trial established that Hanapel was arrested as a result of an undercover sex trafficking operation conducted during the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, targeting internet predators.

Following his sending of multiple chats and sexually explicit text messages to a person Hanapel believed to be a 14-year-old girl, but who was in fact an undercover agent, Hanapel negotiated a time and place he would meet the minor to engage in unlawful sex acts.

When Hanapel arrived at the pre-determined location to meet the person he believed was the minor, he was instead met by law enforcement agents and arrested.