A three-day undercover operation by the state's Internet Crimes Against Children unit and the Sioux Falls Area Human Trafficking Task Force has two men facing serious charges.
During the undercover sting, 22-year-old James Anthony Murphy was arrested and charged with soliciting a minor. The class 4 felony charge carries a possible maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a possible $20,000 fine.
During his first court appearance Monday, a lawyer for the State's Attorneys office said both Murphy and 24-year-old Elijah Wilson answered an online ad placed by law enforcement. The attorney says Murphy expressed interest in having sex with two 13-year-old girls and that he was arrested by undercover officers after showing up to meet them. The attorney also said in court that when Murphy was arrested, officers found he was carrying an undisclosed amount of cash and condoms.
Murphy's criminal history is not long. He was charged last year with possession of a controlled substance, but those charges were dismissed in November.
Murphy is being held on a $10,000 cash bond and his case is being scheduled for a 15-day preliminary hearing.
If Murphy is able to pay the bond for his release, a stipulation to his release is to have absolutely no contact with anyone under the age of 18.
The other defendant in the case, 24-year-old Elijah Wilson, is due back in court on April 3.