SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-- A 60-year-old Pipestone, Minn., man has been sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison after a sting operation where he thought he was going to have sexual contact with a 10-year-old and 13-year-old girl at a Sioux Falls, S.D., hotel.
Roger Blaisdell was sentenced in federal court on Monday, Feb. 26, in Sioux Falls on the charge of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact.
According to court documents, on Oct. 14, 2016, Blaisdell responded to an advertisement on the Craigslist internet website. Unknown to Blaisdell, an undercover law enforcement officer had placed the advertisement. Through a series of emails and text messages, Blaisdell arranged to have sexual contact with the young girls at the hotel.
On Oct. 19, 2016, Blaisdell traveled from Pipestone to the hotel, where he had rented a room.
“This sentencing sends a very strong message to child predators that HSI is committed to working with federal prosecutors to protect children from sexual predators,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Eugene Paulauskas of Homeland Security Investigations in St. Paul. “The men and women of HSI are dedicated to relentlessly seeking justice for the victims of these horrendous crimes.”
U.S. Attorney for South Dakota Ron Parsons added, “Our office is fortunate to be able to work with the dedicated law enforcement teams at Homeland Security Investigations and ICE in putting criminals like this behind bars where they belong. Our children and our communities are safer today because of their efforts.”
Blaisdell was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.